While most military planning focuses on how to win wars, a concept developed by forward-thinkers in the joint world is honing methods to prevent them. Dubbed cooperative security, the plan aims at helping countries with struggling governments and economies so they do not fall victim to internal conflict or become tempted to open their doors to terrorists.
The formalized document, titled “The Military Contribution to Cooperative Security,” is the brainchild of the U.S. Joint Forces Command’s (JFCOM’s) Joint Innovation and Experimentation Directorate (J-9), Suffolk, Virginia, and the U.S. European Command (EUCOM), Stuttgart, Germany. Originally called “shaping,” the approach is now commonly referred to as cooperative security.
Rear Adm. Dan W. Davenport, USN, director, Joint Concept Development and Experimentation Directorate (J-9), JFCOM, explains that nearly two years ago, the U.S. Defense Department recognized that it lacked a concept that covers its geographic combatant commanders’ day-to-day efforts that lead to a more stable security environment. The department sought concept proposals describing these activities, and JFCOM and EUCOM offerings were so similar that the Joint Staff directed the two to partner to create the final concept. In many ways, the joint operating concept essentially documents and institutionalizes what the military services have been doing for quite some time, the admiral allows.