THE ART OF MILITARY STRATEGY Temple Chai 12 November, 2012 28 Cheshvan 5773 Rabbi Bonnie Koppell
“Like politics, strategy is the art of the possible; but few can discern what is possible.” William Murray and Mark Grimsley
“Strategic planning translates strategy into actionable content.” Lt Col John F. Price Jr. “Strong leadership is required to maintain strategic focus to the ultimate objective.” MAJ Matthew M. McCreary
Fundamental Concepts Tactical/Operational/Strategic Interests/Goals Assumptions/Strategic Factors Ends Ways Means Risk
Tactical, Operational, Strategic Levels Tactical- on the ground execution, most narrowly defined Operational- looking at the bigger picture, more broad perspective Strategic- “extrapolates the possible futures from the present strategic circumstances”- (Yarger, 13)
“Strategy seeks to influence and shape the future environment as opposed simply to reacting to it.” Harry R. Yarger, Strategic Theory for the 21st Century: The Little Book on Big Strategy, (65)
VUCA The contemporary strategic environment is: Volatile Uncertain Complex Ambiguous Note the interplay of the tactical and the strategic levels which is fostered by, e.g., the strategic factor on instantaneous, international communication due to internet and prevalence of cell phones.
Interests (Goals) Expressed as a desired-end state- e.g.- a) U.S.- security, economic well-being, democratic values, a stable and secure world order (RSA,2) “Interests are expressed as general or particular desired end states or conditions.” H. Richard Yarger (55)
Interests, Cont’d. INTERESTS ARE STATED WITHOUT VERBS OR OTHER ACTION MODIFIERS. What is the level of intensity of each interest? (Survival, Vital, Important, Peripheral)
Temple Chai’s Interest= • Financial Strength and Viability • Multi-Generational Community Connectedness • Physical Property to Support Community Needs • Youth Engagement Through High School Age “Specificity in interests lends clarity to policy’s true intent.” H. Richard Yarger (56)
Levels of Intensity Survival- If unfulfilled, will result in immediate massive destruction of one or more major core aspects of the core national interests. Vital- If unfulfilled, will have immediate consequence for core national interests. Important- If unfulfilled, will result in damage that will eventually affect core national interests. Peripheral- If unfulfilled, will result in damage that is unlikely to affect core national interests. (c.f.- U.S. relationship with Israel???)
Yarger on Strategy • Strategy is proactive and anticipatory but not predictive • Strategy is subordinate to policy- Policy ensures that strategy pursues appropriate aims, and strategy informs policy of the art of the possible. • Strategy is subordinate to the nature of the environment (cf strategic factors)
Yarger Cont’d. • Strategy maintains a holistic perspective (1st, 2nd, 3rd order effects) • Strategy is founded in what is to be accomplished and why it is to be accomplished • Strategy is hierarchical • Strategy is cumulative
Yarger Cont’d. • Efficiency is subordinate to effectiveness in strategy • The ends, ways, and means are part of an integral whole and work syngergistically • Risk is inherent to all strategy
Strategic Factors Strategic Factors are “the things that can potentially contribute to or detract from the realization of the interest.” (Yarger,59) Temple Chai- e.g.’s Demographic shift of the Jewish community towards the northeast Social environment of constrained resources impacting discretionary income Increased number of synagogue options for prospective members
Strategic Factors, Cont’d. “Factors are defined as pertinent facts, trends, threats, conditions, or inferences that imply an effect on the realization of the interest.” (Yarger, 60) Consider strategic factors from your own perspective as well as that of other actors (i.e.- adversaries, interested parties)
KEY Strategic Factors Not all strategic factors are created equal! The factors that have the GREATEST POTENTIAL to help/hurt realization of an interest are the KEY strategic factors. Identification of key strategic factors is critical to developing ends-ways-means.
KEY Strategic Factors, Cont’d. WHAT MUST BE: IMPACTED CHANGED REDUCED IN ORDER TO REALIZE THE INTEREST.
ON CHANGE. . . “IF YOU DON’T LIKE CHANGE, YOU’RE GOING TO LIKE IRRELEVANCE EVEN LESS” General Eric Shinseki
ENDS, WAYS, MEANS ENDS- what is the objective? WAYS- how will the objective be achieved? MEANS- what are the resources necessary to implement this strategy?
ENDS Should be explicit and frequently include leading verbs. Ends/Objectives are bounded by policy guidance, higher strategy, the nature of the strategic environment, the capabilities and limitations of the organization (instruments of national power), and resources made available
WAYS Available instruments of power Available resources Is the objective short/medium/long term? What are 2d and 3d order effects?
WAYS Cont’d. “Must be explicit enough to provide planning guidance, but not SO detailed as to eliminate creativity and initiative at subordinate strategy and planning levels.” (Yarger, 69)
MEANS Can be tangible (equipment, people, money) or intangible (will, courage, intellect) Should be expressed succinctly “. . the realization that not all priorities will be funded is critical to strategy development, especially when budgets are tight.” MAJ Matthew M. McCreary
BOTTOM LINE “IF YOUR PLAN DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY DIRECTIONS AS TO HOW TO CARRY IT OUT, AND HOW TO OBTAIN RESOURCES FOR IT, THEN YOU DO NOT HAVE A STRATEGY. YOU HAVE AN ASPIRATION” Jim Lacey
3 Considerations SUSTAINABILITY- can we actually do it? FEASIBILITY- will it work? ACCEPTABILITY- do the ends justify the means?
RISK Every strategy has some element of risk associated with it (RSA, 16) What is the risk? Decision makers determine what is an acceptable level of risk.
CAPABILITIES BASED • What capabilities are required? • Is it a materiel or a non-materiel solution? • Materiel= Stuff • Non-Materiel- change in thinking (doctrine), training, personnel, policy What are the alternatives?
How Soon Do We Need It? • Deliberate Requirements- 2-6+ years • Emergent Requirements- 0+-5 years • Urgent Requirements- 0-2 years
Capabilities based planning is a way to identify program needs, allocate resources, and track activities and outcomes. How does Temple Chai conduct ongoing assessment of its efforts?
3 Cautions BEWARE OF: Premature Closure- (keep the good idea window open) Polarization Groupthink
IN OTHER WORDS. . . “CULTURE EATS STRATEGY FOR LUNCH EVERY DAY.” CH (COL) Jonathan Shaw
Continuous Assessment The Plan is a living process! R- REFINE A- ADAPT T- TERMINATE E- EXECUTE
“WHEN THE MEMBERS OF AN EFFECTIVE DECISION TEAM ALSO HAVE SYSTEM WIDE-INFLUENCE, THE LIKELIHOOD OF SYSTEM-WIDE UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTANCE OF DIFFICULT DECISIONS INCREASES” T.O. Jacobs
IN OTHER WORDS: Your support of this process is vital to its success! THANK YOU!