Joint Vision 2020: America’s Military— Preparing for Tomorrow was published during the summer of 2000. To set the stage for Joint Vision 2020, the Cold War had ended, the United States had suffered several setbacks which included the downing of Blackhawk helicopters in Mogadishu, Somalia and it was pre-9/11 and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were not on the horizon.
The CJCS Joint Vision 2020, then General Hugh Shelton, was to have “Dedicated individuals and innovative organizations transforming the joint force for the 21st century to achieve full spectrum dominance:
- Persuasive in peace
- Decisive in war
- Preeminent in any form of conflict
One of the main points I found quite well written, predictive, and timeless in Joint Vision 2020 was:
“potential adversaries will have access to the global commercial industrial base and much of the same technology as the U.S. military. We will not necessarily sustain a wide technological advantage over our adversaries in all areas. Increased availability of commercial satellites, digital communications, and the public Internet all give adversaries new capabilities at a relatively low cost. We should not expect opponents in 2020 to fight with strictly industrial age tools. Our advantage must therefore come from leaders, people, doctrine, organizations, and training that enable us to take advantage of technology to achieve superior warfighting effectiveness.”
Joint Vision 2020 also brings Full Spectrum Dominance into the doctrine vocabulary of the U.S. Military:
Full Spectrum Dominance is the ability to “conduct prompt, sustained, and synchronized operations with combinations of forces tailored to specific situations and with access to and freedom to operate in all domains— land, sea, air, space, and information.”
You can infer that the recognized information domain has now been relabeled as Cyberspace, or the Cyber domain. However the name change does not negate or change the importance of the domain. Yet it appears that with a shorter name, all of five letters, the marketing is easier and the flock of the “general populace” to solve the issues within somewhat clouds the major issues we are struggling with in the domain. Rather the focus has become who should lead the effort.
Full Spectrum Dominance is then supported by:
- Information Superiority
- Innovation (explicitly continued from Joint Vision 2010)
While the U.S. will continue to focus on the Conduct of Joint Operations through focusing upon:
- Multinational Operations
- Interagency Operations
- Operational Concepts backed by dominant maneuver
- Precision Engagement
- Focused Logistics
- Full Dimensional Protection
- Information Operations
- Command and Control (C2)
It is interesting to see what remains valid today, in Joint Vision 2020, even after the U.S. shifted its focus from this document to respond to 9/11 and fight through wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is also interesting to see entities resuming its focus on Information Superiority and Innovation.
Don’t forget to watch the current CJCS’s 2012 Commencement address at Norwich on living an Uncommon Life.
[Joint Vision 2020 – Joint Forces Quarterly (JFQ) via DTIC]