Nov 30, 2022
The U.S. Coast Guard's motto is Semper Paratus — always ready. But for what? This report describes an approach to developing scenarios to aid in decisionmaking under deep uncertainty through the Evergreen strategic foresight initiative. The scenarios presented here focus on readiness, but the approach can be adapted for other contexts.
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The U.S. Coast Guard's motto is Semper Paratus — always ready. But for what? The service carries out 11 diverse statutory missions and must address both immediate needs and future contingencies, which makes this question difficult to answer. Future changes to the operating environment in the physical, economic, social, political, and technological domains promise additional stresses on service resources, in addition to changing the makeup of the service itself.
One way to aid decisionmaking in the face of a deeply uncertain future is by more effectively leveraging the Coast Guard's Evergreen strategic foresight initiative. Analysts from the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center adapted an approach to developing future scenarios and, in this report, present example components of Coast Guard global planning scenarios related to future service readiness. These posture the Coast Guard to better integrate slow-burning issues and problems that might emerge only down the road into nearer-term decisions that can help prepare the service for upcoming challenges.
Without weighing the long view of changes in the operating environment alongside current or nearer-term demands, the Coast Guard will not be able to have full awareness of what blind spots might exist in current strategies and plans. Being ready for the spectrum of challenges the future might bring requires mindfulness of both the near and long terms and how change will affect the Coast Guard.
Insights from Evergreen's History and Relationship with Coast Guard Strategic Planning
A Framework for Organizing Mission-Relevant Drivers of Change
Shaping Global Planning Scenarios for Evergreen Analysis
Findings and Conclusions
Full-Length Exemplar Scenario Narratives Used as the Basis for Evergreen Activities in Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020
An Expert Workshop to Identify Important Drivers for the Coast Guard
HSOAC is a federally funded research and development center operated by the RAND Corporation under contract with DHS.