Shaping the World through Engagement: Assessing the Department of Defense's Theater Engagement Planning Process

  • April 01, 2000
  • COL Thomas Jordan, Prof Douglas C Lovelace Jr, Dr Thomas-Durell Young

The Department of Defense (DoD) has launched an ambitious planning initiative that could have a major impact upon how resources are allocated among the military departments and the combatant commands. The National Command Authorities have directed the geographic combatant commanders-in- chief (CINCs) to implement the administration s strategy of shaping within their areas of responsibility (AORs). In the past, no single, unified planning mechanism within the Joint Strategic Planning System (JSPS) addressed the issue of shaping. DoD seeks to ensure that all shaping activities conducted by the U.S. armed forces are executed within the parameters of existing law and stated policy. In this particular aspect of implementing the President's strategy, DoD faces difficult challenges and opportunities. This monograph addresses how well Theater Engagement Planning methodology has been designed and implemented and offers recommendations to improve the existing process.