Operationalizing Theater Campaign Planning through Interagency Cross-functional Teams

  • Colonel Bryan J. Laske

Both State Department and Department of Defense leaders have articulated policy and guidance emphasizing the importance of building partner capacity as part of regional security strategies and overall national interests. In addition, the President has set forth policy to strengthen the ability of the United States to help allies and partner nations build their own security capacity. Yet, the ability to bring the instruments of national power to effective use remains a challenge. The United States must pursue a new approach to better meet a complex and interdependent security environment. The cross-functional teams represented in joint-interagency task forces are a model that has proven its effectiveness toward national security goals in multiple regions and for a variety of purposes. Institutionalizing cross-functional teams in the model of the joint-interagency task force and employing them to link geographic combatant command regional strategies with U.S. Embassy country strategies in the security sector will establish an effective mechanism to integrate capabilities, authorities, and resources of all U.S. Government departments and agencies in key regions, sub regions, or high-risk countries.