WASHINGTON– The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has signed off on the Capstone Concept for Joint Operations, a document the military will use to help determine future capability development for the joint force in 2016 through 2028. U.S. military planners worldwide will use the Capstone concept to drive “future joint solutions and guide future joint force development work,” Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said.

U.S. Joint Forces Command led the concept’s development, with input from the military services, combatant commands and the Joint Staff. This is the concept’s first update since August 2005, when then-Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers signed the document.

The capstone concept details the main security challenges facing the joint force: winning the nation’s wars, deterring adversaries, developing cooperative security, defending the homeland and responding to civil crises.

U.S. joint forces “will need to be able to apply combat power in more varied, measured and discriminate ways than ever before,” the document states.

The concept incorporates lessons learned in current operations and describes in broad terms how the joint force will operate in the complex, changing and uncertain environments of the future. It also looks beyond purely military solutions, addressing the fact that conflict today may not be solved solely with military assets.

“Today’s challenges and threats are not strictly military in nature, solved or countered by military means alone,” Mullen said. “We owe future generations a longer-term view of security. The concept is designed to help military and other national security leaders think about challenges and opportunities.”

Training allied militaries may be as important as employing U.S. combat power, according to the concept. The document also emphasizes that the American military must be ready to handle a wide range of challenges, from humanitarian missions to all-out war.

The concept is a template planners can use as they look at specific situations. It also calls on planners to assess operations continually and adjust and adapt as needed.

Joint Forces Command will test the concept in a series of experiments this year, officials said. Planners will use the results of these experiments to inform the next Quadrennial Defense Review.

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