Featured Article: Building a Foundational Understanding of Interagency Coordination

Featured article:

Building a Foundational Understanding of Interagency Coordination
by Patrick Naughton

As the American military shifts from a counterinsurgency focus to one oriented on large scale combat operations (LSCO) against a peer-competitor and further develops the MultiDomain Operations (MDO) concept, interagency coordination will remain critical. As the largest ground force, the United States Army is continuing to refine its conceptual understanding of LSCO as first laid out in the recent Field Manual 3-0: Operations (FM 3-0), where the Consolidation Area is first introduced and the Joint Phasing Model adopted. FM 3-0 recognizes that interagency coordination will be crucial during the Shape Phase of the model, which will set conditions for future success before the onset of LSCO. In addition, as commanders learn to consolidate gains to capitalize on operational success after the termination of LSCO, working with interagency partners is necessary to fully stabilize an area of operation.

The initial steps toward understanding how other federal agencies function and operate must take place before rather than after the commencement of LSCO against a peer-competitor. During LSCO, all branches of the military will interact with federal agencies on a daily basis. Military leaders in the different services under the Department of Defense (DoD) quickly become accustomed to how their organizations function and tend to project that belief onto other federal agencies. However, these agencies, though often working toward the same goals as the military in combat zones, operate differently. Learning some basic differences now will assist military leaders in establishing a whole of government approach and unity of effort prior to the start of LSCO.

To develop a solid foundation of understanding, military leaders must understand the five basic core differences in how most federal agencies and the military services operate…

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IAJ 9-4 (2018) pdf
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Major Patrick Naughton is a U.S. Army Reserve officer currently serving as an Interagency Fellow at the Department of Labor – Veterans’ Employment and Training Service in Washington, D.C. He holds a Master of Military Arts and Science degree from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College where he was an Art of War Scholar and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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