U.S. Joint Forces Command releases Joint Operating Environment 2008 – a strategic framework that forecasts possible threats and opportunities that will challenge the future joint force.
(NORFOLK, Va. – Dec. 4, 2008) -- U.S. Joint Forces Command released a report today outlining a strategic framework that forecasts possible threats and opportunities that will challenge the joint force in the future.
USJFCOM released the Joint Operating Environment 2008 (JOE 2008) to describe the future operational environment and its implications on the structure and function of the joint force.
According to command leaders, JOE 2008 is a narrative for decision-makers and is intended to spark discussions with the widest set of national security and multinational partners about the nature of the future international environment and its potential military requirements.
“The JOE discusses operational-level trends and contexts that will be drivers of future change,” said Navy Rear Admiral John M. Richardson, plans and policy director for USJFCOM. “The nature of conflict and war will remain the same, but the character will change. We won’t get this 100 percent right, but the discussion and engagement of senior leaders is more important than the final product. So we need to do this, and we need to try to get it ‘more right’ than the enemy.”
JOE 2008 examines trends and disruptions in the geopolitical and military landscape, such as:
These trends form the context for exploring the following types of scenarios: Competition and Cooperation Among Conventional Powers, Potential Challenges and Threats, Weak and Failing States, The Threats of Unconventional Power, Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Technology, The Battle of Narratives, and Urbanization.
JOE 2008 contributes to USJFCOM's central mission to develop a vision for how our military forces will conduct future operations and test this vision in the most realistic and challenging ways possible.
“At USJFCOM we balance support to current operations with shaping the future joint force – looking out for the combatant commander eight to 25 years out. There are many ‘futures’ documents out there. JOE 2008 is unique in that it focuses on the implications for the future joint force,” Richardson said.
Richardson provided an example of how the JOE is intended to be used to provide context for the future joint force.
“One context that JOE 2008 discusses is the proliferation of technology that will enable long-range, precision weapons for much more affordable prices. This will give many more of our enemies the ability to challenge our access to the global commons,” said the admiral. “What are the implications of this for the joint force? We think that this will challenge access, and even the application of joint power in serious ways.”
“Perhaps the most important conclusion of the JOE 2008 is that we will continue to face an extremely adaptive and creative enemy. The human element of joint operations will not be replaced by technology,” according to Richardson. “We are almost certainly going to be surprised. Our goal is not to eliminate surprise; that is impossible. But we can hopefully contribute to building a joint force that is powerful and agile enough to prevail with minimal regrets.”
Copies of JOE 2008 have been distributed to senior leaders throughout the national security community.
The entire report is available by clicking here.