Inside The Pentagon
May 15, 2008
Defense Secretary Robert Gates this week approved two key strategic planning documents designed to guide the development of war and contingency plans as well as the Pentagon’s weapon system investment blueprint, according to a senior defense official.
On May 12, Gates signed the “Guidance for the Development of the Force” and the “Guidance for the Employment of the Force,” both classified, biennial documents that Pentagon officials had originally hoped to have in place in early February.
“Those are the Defense Department’s two primary strategic planning documents,” said a senior Pentagon official.
Previously called Strategic Planning Guidance, the Guidance for the Development of the Force (GDF) considers a 20-year view of the security environment to inform the construction of the Pentagon’s fiscal year 2010 to 2015 spending plan, now being put together by the military services and defense agencies.
The GDF also replaces a handful of guidance documents previously issued on a two-year cycle, including the Transformation Planning Guidance, the Posture Guidance, the Science and Technology Strategic Guidance and several others.
By consolidating guidance into one volume, Pentagon officials hope to provide to service planners -- those responsible for making strategic resource allocations -- a single, authoritative text.
The Guidance for the Employment of the Force (GEF), developed in coordination with the National Security Council and recently reviewed by President Bush, sets forth priorities for crafting contingency plans over the next two years, the senior Pentagon official said.
The GEF also consolidates in one place what was previously issued in a number of documents, including the Contingency Planning Guidance, policy guidance for the employment of nuclear weapons, and the Security Cooperation Guidance. -- Jason Sherman