Friday, November 04, 2005

For Xerox, Parmesan, and the Rest of the Family: A Recipe for Jointness

Since in a few years time (approximately 20-25 years from now) we will be taking over the world, I think it's high-time we started conceptualizing how we want to structure our armed services.

In yesterday's class we discussed the merits and demerits of jointness. On the plus side, jointness involves the seamless integration of air, land, and sea forces to holistically combat an enemy. This approach has the potential to completely overwhelm our enemies, preventing them an opportunity to compete with our forces by crushing them from every angle at once.

On the downside, jointness may result in, as one future SecDef stated, "The lowest common denominator" of forces. Jointness could cut down on specialization, resulting in a lower quality military, potentially increasing a service's dependence and decreasing its dominance in a particular area. (Given our military's absolute advantages over every other military, this may not matter much.)

Besides the downsides of jointness itself, there are myriad problems in designing and implementing jointness, including beauracratic impediments. The questions remain: Is jointness necessary? Do the benefits outweigh the potential problems? If jointness is essential, how can we best design and implement it?

Now, I'm operating under the assumption that jointness is essential to our nation's continued superiority (hey, I'm a Renaissance man alright) and I'd like to provide you with my recipe for it.

The basic ingredients:

1 Part Army
1 Part Navy
1 Part Airforce
1 Part Marines
1 set of toys specifically designed for joint operations

Now, here's the secret ingredient that will truly make jointness work:

You take these individual ingredients (confiscate them from their current commands) and make them their own separate force. That's right, you make a rapid reaction joint force of say 40,000 men (a la the EU) that is, perhaps, semi-autonomous under the army's command. They will train together, practicing littoral warfare and close-in air support operations. They would be called in for such missions as those in Afghanistan. This will allow the other services to maintain their autonomy (and dominance) and concentrate on the big picture: war with Mother Russia, China, etc. It wouldn't be easy (it would take a pretty strong SecDef), but it could work. And in the end, the services may be happier with that than with jointness as it stands now.

Of course, I haven't taken account of all the pesky details, but those can be ironed out when we're in charge of things. So brainstorm with me here. How are you going to improve on the family recipe?

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