In the first of our two article series, last week’s professional reading by Brigadier General (Retired) Rickey Rife examined the character traits, institutional values, and personality preferences of the Department of State and Department of Defense and the challenges of converging political and military capabilities in the pre-9-11 era. In this week’s follow-up article, MAJ Bryan Groves from the Arthur D. Simons Center for Interagency Cooperation, provides an interesting perspective as he explores how differences in risk aversion and resources are the causal factors for the similarities and differences between DoS and DoD. This more contemporary piece reinforces the differences between the two departments but provides us with the opportunity to see each other (DoD & DoS) as value added and as complementary capabilities.
MAJ Groves describes the different mission sets for DoD and State by saying DoD concentrates its forces in a few areas during periods of conflict while State maintains a continuous presence in almost every country in the world. In addition to this permanent versus temporary presence contrast, he goes on comparing the two agencies across several other areas including administrative & medical considerations, personnel profiles, culture and physical security, and even the “deployment factor”.
This second article highlights the value of complementary operations. DoD and State most effectively exist in a symbiotic world where the DoD capitalizes on the indigenous nature of State. The cultural and political knowhow of state informs military actions and military capability can influence State’s effectiveness. Groves ends his article by stating that the appropriate response when analyzing the differences between organizations is to recognize and appreciate the differences for what they are while also embracing the many similarities: mission focus, competent people, and the desire to contribute to a cause greater than oneself despite real risks.
In the context of Multi-Domain Battle (MDB) in future conflicts, we typically start thinking about technological advances and how those will enable us to create windows of overmatch against our enemies and adversaries. There is no doubt these advancements will be critical to our success, but we can’t lose sight of some of the more rudimentary ways to strengthen our capabilities in DoD. Improved relationships and understanding with the DoS will only create more opportunities and increase our ability to influence and shape our battlefield in a non-kinetic way. MAJ Groves’ insights reinforce the need for different agencies and organizations to understand each other and capitalize on our mutually beneficial capabilities, regardless of who we think accepts the most risk. In a future of cost prohibitive technologies and a complicated operating environment, improved coordination amongst agencies and organization is one of the easiest and most cost efficient means for us to improve our position on the battlefield and advance our national interests.
To learn more about Multi-Domain Battle and contribute to conversation, access the following link: http://www.tradoc.army.mil/MultiDomainBattle/index.asp