The U.S. Department of Defense's Planning Process
Feb 4, 2019
This report describes the forces that shaped conventional ground force planning during the 1945–2016 period, with an emphasis on the strategic concepts and contingency scenarios used. It identifies broader lessons that are likely to be of interest to contemporary force planners. Finally, the report identifies potential opportunities for the U.S. Army to influence the future selection of defense planning scenarios.
Their Origins and Use in Defense Strategic Planning
|PDF file||12.5 MB|
|PDF file||0.2 MB|
|Add to Cart||Paperback372 pages||$49.95||$39.96 20% Web Discount|
This report describes the forces that shaped conventional ground force planning during the 1945–2016 period, with an emphasis on the strategic concepts and contingency scenarios used. It identifies broader lessons that are likely to be of interest to contemporary force planners, especially those related to the strategic concepts to help connect basic national security policies with the planning and development of conventional ground forces, and provides the context for consideration of different combinations of force planning scenarios. Finally, the report identifies potential opportunities for the U.S. Army to influence the future selection of defense planning scenarios.
Historically, U.S. global interests and commitments have been sufficiently expansive that it was impossible to design a fiscally acceptable force that could defend all U.S. interests simultaneously: Efforts to estimate the forces required to simultaneously defend all U.S. interests have typically led to force structure estimates twice as large as more-realistic, budget-informed planning approaches.
The report demonstrates that Cold War–era strategic concepts and scenarios for planning conventional forces focused on the capabilities, intentions, posture, and plans of the USSR and China. In the post–Cold War era, Northeast and Southwest Asian and terrorist threat scenarios have predominated.
The analysis shows that the scenarios that have been used in defense planning have been derived from each administration's prior conclusions about the relative importance of national security interests, and threats and challenges to these interests; national security policies and strategies; and the strategic concepts that have provided a framework for relating military forces to strategic ends.
The Truman Administration, 1945–1953
The Eisenhower Administration, 1953–1961
The Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, 1961–1969
The Nixon and Ford Administrations, 1969–1977
The Carter Administration, 1977–1981
The Reagan Administration, 1981–1989
The George H. W. Bush Administration, 1989–1993
The Clinton Administration, 1993–2001
The George W. Bush Administration, 2001–2009
The Obama Administration, 2009–2017
Observations and Conclusions
Strategic Analysis Key Terms, Authorities, and Directives
The Development and Use of Scenarios in the Joint Strategic Planning System
Supplementary Tables and Figures
The research described in this report was sponsored by the Quadrennial Defense Review Office, Deputy Chief of Staff (G-8), Headquarters, United States Army and conducted by the Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program within the RAND Arroyo Center.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.