National Military Strategy: Shape, Respond, Prepare Now-A Military Strategy for a New Era
of, The Joint Chiefs, DISAM Journal of International Security Assistance Management
[The following is a reprint of the Executive Summary of the Joint Chiefs of Staff document entitled as above which was released in September 1997 under the signature of General John M. Shalikashvili, USA, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The entire document is available on the Internet at < http://www.dtic.mil/jcs/nms > .]
The National Military Strategy provides the advice of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) in consultation with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Combatant Commanders on the strategic direction of the Armed Forces over the next three to five years. In formulating the 1997 National Military Strategy, the CJCS derives guidance from the President's 1997 National Security Strategy and from the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) report prepared by the Secretary of Defense.
In both the 1997 National Security Strategy and the QDR report, the President and the Secretary of Defense introduced an integrated strategic approach embodied by the terms Shape, Respond, and Prepare Now. The 1997 National Military Strategy is based on these concepts. It builds on the premise that the United States will remain globally engaged to Shape the international environment and create conditions favorable to U.S. interests and global security. It emphasizes that our Armed Forces must Respond to the full spectrum of crises in order to protect our national interests. It further states that as we pursue shaping and responding activities, we must also take steps to Prepare Now for an uncertain future.
THE STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENT
The United States has entered a period that presents both opportunities and challenges. Our nation is at peace and much of the world embraces the democratic ideals we cherish. The threat of nuclear war has diminished and diplomatic efforts continue to reap benefits in creating a more stable and peaceful world. Nonetheless, there remain a number of uncertainties, including potentially serious threats to America's security. Principal among these are regional dangers, asymmetric challenges, transnational threats, and "wild cards." This uncertain environment would be even more threatening without the American engagement and leadership that this strategy supports.
National Military Objectives
To defend and protect U.S. national interests, our national military objectives are to Promote Peace and Stability and, when necessary, to Defeat Adversaries. U.S. Armed Forces advance national security by applying military power as directed to help Shape the international environment and Respond to the full spectrum of crises, while we also Prepare Now for an uncertain future.
Elements of Strategy
Shaping the International Environment. U.S. Armed Forces help shape the international environment through deterrence, peacetime engagement activities, and active participation and leadership in alliances. Critical to deterrence are our conventional warfighting capabilities and our nuclear forces. Deterrence rests on a potential adversary's perception of our capabilities and commitment, which are demonstrated by our ability to bring decisive military power to bear and by communication of U.S. intentions. Engagement activities, including information sharing and contacts between our military and the armed forces of other nations, promote trust and confidence and encourage measures that increase our security and that of our allies, partners, and friends. By increasing understanding and reducing uncertainty, engagement builds constructive security relationships, helps to promote the development of democratic institutions, and helps keep some countries from becoming adversaries tomorrow.
Responding to the Full Spectrum of Crises. The U.S. military will be called upon to respond to crises across the full range of military operations, from humanitarian assistance to fighting and winning major …
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Publication information: Article title: National Military Strategy: Shape, Respond, Prepare Now-A Military Strategy for a New Era. Contributors: of, The Joint Chiefs - Author. Magazine title: DISAM Journal of International Security Assistance Management. Volume: 20. Issue: 2 Publication date: Winter 1998. Page number: 47+. © Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management Fall 1997. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.