“The idea is to bring the right kind of leaders and thinkers together,” Davenport said, to analyze and “deal with the future threat.”
The wargame looks ahead to 2020, he said, and will feature scenarios that pit U.S. joint forces against three types of enemies: a globally networked terrorist threat, a peer competitor, and a failed or failing state.
The hybrid-war threat, whereby a potential adversary would employ both conventional and irregular forces during a conflict with the United States, is “probably the most challenging” threat, Davenport said, because “you’re really having to deal with the full spectrum of threats, all at one time.”
Another challenging, complex scenario, Davenport said, involves instances of military and interagency coordination in transitioning from traditional U.S. warfighting actions to other-than-war tasks, such as providing humanitarian and reconstruction aid.
“We realize that any solution we come up with has got to incorporate and include the interagency and multinational perspectives,” Davenport said.
In a related effort, Joint Forces Command is revising its Joint Operating Environment report, known as the JOE, which predicts potential threats to U.S. national security in the years ahead.
The current JOE report predicts a future of persistent conflict and hybrid enemy threats, global instability, increasing access to weapons of mass destruction, the rise of regional state and non-state actors, and the unpredictability of security threats.
Input from the JOE influences the Quadrennial Defense Review, a congressionally mandated report that’s prepared every four years that also seeks to predict future threats while balancing U.S. military capabilities to confront them.
The companion piece to the JOE, known as the Capstone concept for joint operations, represents Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen’s vision for how the joint force will operate in the future, and it provides proposed solutions to envisioned security threats presented in the JOE. The Capstone also is used to guide U.S. military force experimentation and development efforts.
The JOE outlines the possible problems or threats confronting U.S. joint military forces in the future, Mattis explained, while the Capstone concept presents proposed solutions.
The war gamers in McLean will experiment with the Capstone concept’s solutions to predicted potential future threats outlined in the JOE report.