The nature of the challenges to the United States and its interests demand that the Armed Forces operate as a joint team, closely integrated with inter-organizational and multinational partners across the range of military operations.
—Joint Publication 1, Doctrine for the Armed Forces of the United States
The purpose of joint doctrine is to enhance the operational effectiveness of U.S. forces. It represents what is taught, believed, and advocated as what is right (that is, what works best). It also provides the national position for multinational doctrine and serves as a basis for multinational or interagency coordination during joint operations.
Whenever U.S. forces operate as part of a multinational force, they follow multinational joint doctrine and procedures to the extent that the guidance is consistent with U.S. law and policy. Joint Publication 1-02, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, defines multinational doctrine as “Fundamental principles that guide the employment of forces of two or more nations in coordinated action toward a common objective.” Multinational doctrine enhances the interoperability of coalition forces and provides fundamental considerations used to determine command relationships and the assignment of missions, objectives, and tasks. In all cases, multinational doctrine must be well known, universally accepted, and commonly understood to be useful.
Allied Joint Doctrine Framework
Within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), allied joint doctrine (AJD) provides the operational framework for operations conducted by Alliance members and partners, non-NATO nations, and other organizations. NATO policy guides AJD development by providing the baseline for the doctrinal principles or fundamentals. NATO’s policy and doctrine developers strive to closely coordinate their efforts, ensuring that the relationship between NATO policy and military doctrine is consistent and mutually supportive.
NATO’s doctrine is aligned within the AJD Architecture (AJDA). The AJDA is comprised of Allied Joint Publications (AJP) and supporting Allied Publications (AP). There are currently 45 approved AJPs and four APs in the AJD portfolio. The majority of AJPs (28) reside in the Operations series.
AJDA is organized into two levels. Level-one publications contain overarching doctrine, namely, NATO’s “capstone” publication, AJP-01, Allied Joint Doctrine, as well as “keystone” publications AJP-2, AJD for Intelligence, Counter-Intel, and Security; AJP-3, AJD for the Conduct of Operations; AJP-4, Allied Joint Logistics Doctrine; AJP-5, AJD for Operational-level Planning; and AJP-6, AJD for Communication and Information Systems. Level-two publications contain supporting joint doctrine aligned to specific functional areas.
Allied Joint Doctrine Development
Current AJDA has more than doubled since 2005, expanding to include topics across the spectrum of military operations that now include AJP-2.1, Intelligence Procedures; AJP-2.7, Joint ISR; AJP-3.14, Force Protection; AJP-3.3, Air and Space Operations; AJP-3.4.9, Civil-Military Cooperation; AJP-3.10, Psychological Operations; AJP-3.5, Special Operations; AJP-4.0, Allied Joint Logistics; AJP-4.5, Host Nation Support; AJP-5, Operational Level Planning; and AJP-6, Computers and Information Systems. Six of the 28 member nations serve as AJD custodians, which is not to say that only six nations are contributing. Virtually every custodian team and working group includes contributions from all 28 member nations. Since 2009, NATO approved or will soon promulgate 10 new joint publications, among them doctrine for military support to stability and reconstruction, counter-intelligence, and counterinsurgency. Additionally, AJD development is under way for geospatial intelligence and stability policing. The AJP-2 series, currently consisting of six AJPs, is potentially expanding to include doctrine on signals intelligence, imagery intelligence, measurement and signature intelligence, open-source intelligence, and collection coordination and intelligence requirements management.
Responsibility for the development, management, and standardization of AJD lies with the Allied Joint Operations Doctrine Working Group (AJODWG). The primary mission of the AJODWG is to enhance the interoperability and thus the effectiveness of NATO forces when planning and conducting joint operations through the provision of AJD, with the emphasis on doctrine at the operational level. The AJODWG consists of delegates from NATO member nations, the International Military Staff, and the two strategic commands (Allied Command Transformation and Allied Command Operations). The AJODWG has many responsibilities; however, its principal roll is to ensure that AJD conforms to NATO policy and guidance. The working group reviews proposals that identify doctrinal voids and recommends doctrine development to fill those voids. Additionally, the group ensures that AJD content is standardized in terms of layout, presentation, and format. The AJODWG is also responsible for harmonizing the AJDA—ensuring coherence and consistency with NATO policy across the level one keystone and capstone publications as well as vertically between the level-one and level-two publications.
The AJODWG meets in March and September annually at NATO Headquarters to review the AJDA to determine continued validity and, where necessary, recommend revision, consolidation, or cancellation of AJPs. In addition, the AJODWG identifies doctrinal voids, identifies and develops new doctrine proposals, and reviews lessons learned from recent operations, exercises, and experimentation for their potential for new or amended doctrine proposals to enhance interoperability.
Currently, the AJODWG is managing a number of doctrine initiatives. First, AJP-3.4.0, Allied Joint Doctrine for Non Article 5 Crisis Response Operations, is being reviewed as a potential thematic doctrine for AJP-3.4 series publications (Stability and Reconstruction, Counterinsurgency, Peace Support, Non-Combatant Evacuation, Military Support to Civil Authorities, Civil Military Cooperation, and Stability Policing). Second, while security force assistance (SFA) remains a relatively immature topic in NATO, there exists the potential for developing SFA doctrine. Third, recent and anticipated NATO policy changes will inform the eventual revision of AJP-01 and AJP-3, AJD for the Conduct of Operations. The AJODWG will address recent policy developments on environmental protection, the Comprehensive Approach (NATO’s response to crisis management involving political, civil, and military instruments of power), and strategic communication, and include lessons learned from operations in Libya. Finally, AJP-5, “AJD for Operational Level Planning,” was drafted and is awaiting member nations’ ratification and should be approved as formal doctrine by this fall.
The U.S. Role in AJD
The Joint Staff J7 leads the effort in providing the U.S. military’s position on warfighting guidance to all the Alliance nations. The Chief of J7’s Joint Education and Doctrine Division (JEDD) serves as the U.S. Head of Delegation (HOD) to the AJODWG. The HOD represents the Chairman and J7 within the multinational AJOD forum, responsible for expressing the official position of the United States and ensuring that U.S. roles, extant capabilities, and warfighting philosophy are accurately represented throughout the AJDA. In this capacity, the HOD approves U.S. ratification responses for AJPs and reviews emerging multinational doctrine publications for consistency with U.S. law, regulations, and approved and emerging joint publications. Additionally, the United States serves as custodian, or author, of 10 AJPs and 1 AP, Joint Symbology. By taking ownership of 11 of the 49 publications in the AJDA, the United States continues its enduring commitment to further develop of NATO’s AJD portfolio. Most noteworthy among AJD development is AJP-3.4.5, Allied Joint Doctrine for Military Support to Stability and Reconstruction (S&R), which is expected to be approved this fall. It defines planning considerations in the event that NATO provides S&R support until the relevant nonmilitary authorities are able to assume the duty. It also emphasizes cooperation with civilians in accordance with NATO’s Comprehensive Approach— engagement of the requisite civil and military elements of international power to end hostilities, restore order, commence reconstruction, and begin to address a conflict’s root causes.
For the upcoming AJODWG (September 24–28, 2012), significant U.S. input to the working group will include doctrine updates for several publications. Additionally, the U.S delegation will provide a timely doctrinal update to inform NATO’s early development efforts in the interrelationship among cyberspace operations, information operations, electronic warfare, military information support operations (formerly psychological operations), and strategic communications and communications strategy.
In a globalized world, nations will be less likely to conduct operations unilaterally; they are more likely to participate as part of an alliance or coalition formed to achieve internationally agreed objectives. Cooperation between nations is necessary to working effectively in a coalition environment, allowing political and military objectives to be achieved when unilateral action would be impractical or undesirable. Developing, accepting, and following sound doctrinal principles are the important first step when operations are to be conducted by multinational forces. The fundamental challenge in executing multinational operations is the effective integration and synchronization of available assets toward the achievement of common objectives. Successful planning, execution, and support of multinational military operations require clearly understood and thoroughly implemented allied joint doctrine.JFQ