Pace Issues Guidance to Help Military 'Shape the Future'
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2005 The war on terror underlies every word in the Chairman's Guidance to the Joint Staff.
Marine Gen. Peter Pace, who took office as the 16th Joint Chiefs chairman on Sept. 30, issued the guidance so members of the Joint Staff would understand his priorities and focus on what he considers important in the coming years, said defense officials.
Pace reiterates in a number of places in the guidance that he considers the war on terror to be winnable, but will be "a war of long duration."
Pace's guidance is subtitled "Shaping the Future." He said that while the emphasis must be on the war on terror, the U.S. military must be ready for any eventuality.
Pace's priorities are concise and mutually supporting. At the top is winning the war on terror.
"Our enemies are violent extremists who would deny us, and all mankind, the freedom to choose our own destiny," Pace wrote in the guidance. "Finding this distributed, loosely networked enemy is the greatest challenge we face."
The U.S. will meet and beat the enemy on the battlefield, but that is not enough, he said. Building better economies, encouraging good government and assisting governments as they live by the rule of law will help the world shape "an environment that precludes the flourishing of terrorism, much as a healthy body rejects the onslaught of disease."
The United States must harness all elements of national and international power to stop terrorists and stop young people from wanting to join jihadist organizations. "My military advice to our nation's leaders will favor recommendations that integrate and coordinate our efforts with the work of others fighting this war," Pace wrote. "Through closer coordination within the Department of Defense and interagency (cooperation) we maximize the impact of our military power and build trust, synergy and momentum."
His second priority is to speed up transformation processes within the military. Changing the old mindset is the most important aspect of this change. He wrote that at its heart, transformation "is a willingness on the part of the individual and the organization to embrace innovation and accept analyzed risk."
His third priority is to strengthen joint-warfighting capability. He said the U.S. military must transition "from an interoperable to an interdependent force." The fights in Afghanistan and Iraq have been more joint than any before, officials said. Still, much more can - and must be - done.
Pace said this move toward jointness does not mean a diminution of the service cultures. "I want you to bring your service perspective to the decision process," he wrote. The strength of this staff, like the strength of the nation, lies in the articulation of multiple views. Individual service perspectives brought together jointly, foster better solutions, which we then execute in a joint framework."
His final priority is to improve the quality of life for servicemembers and their families. "Bringing our people home alive and intact is Quality of Life Job No. 1," he wrote. "The best leadership, the most innovative tactics, the best equipment and the best force protection are indispensable to this goal."