Here is how you turn an E.O. in to a clown show.
We used to make fun of the Soviets for forcing on their military a bunch of political showmanship that had nothing to do with fighting and winning wars. We used to pride ourselves on a rigorous and disciplined approach to military planning from trying to define Centers of Gravity to making sure our Assumptions were sound and that our analysis of Critical Vulnerabilities etc was as close to accurate as could be. Poor thinking or unrelated issues were quickly and without mercy cut. When a clean OPLAN was long enough you had to.
Well, you can forget that. We are moving to full Soviet clown show where political cargo cults are being forced on military planning - not because military professionals see it as important, but because The Party demands it.
First, Ref. A., Executive Order 13653 - Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change. Here are the juicy bits. Read all of Sections 4, 5, and 6. In part;
Sec. 4. Providing Information, Data, and Tools for Climate Change Preparedness and Resilience. (a) In support of Federal, regional, State, local, tribal, private-sector and nonprofit-sector efforts to prepare for the impacts of climate change, the Departments of Defense, the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, and Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and any other agencies as recommended by the Council established in section 6 of this order, shall, supported by USGCRP, work together to develop and provide authoritative, easily accessible, usable, and timely data, information, and decision-support tools on climate preparedness and resilience.How did this get translated in to action by The Pentagon?
... each agency shall develop or continue to develop, implement, and update comprehensive plans that integrate consideration of climate change into agency operations and overall mission objectives ...
To four-star generals and admirals, among them the regional combatant commanders who plan and fight the nation’s wars, the directive tells them: “Incorporate climate change impacts into plans and operations and integrate DoD guidance and analysis in Combatant Command planning to address climate change-related risks and opportunities across the full range of military operations, including steady-state campaign planning and operations and contingency planning.”One interesting side-bar; I'll let you google it, but the phrase "Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience" is exactly copied from the standard issue bits from the
The directive, “Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience,” is in line with President Obama’s view that global warming is the country’s foremost national security threat, or close to it. Mr. Obama says there is no debate on the existence of man-made global warming and its ensuing climate change. Supporters of this viewpoint label as “deniers” any scientists who disagree.
The Pentagon is ordering the top brass to incorporate climate change into virtually everything they do, from testing weapons to training troops to war planning to joint exercises with allies.
A new directive’s theme: The U.S. Armed Forces must show “resilience” and beat back the threat based on “actionable science.”
It says the military will not be able to maintain effectiveness unless the directive is followed. It orders the establishment of a new layer of bureaucracy — a wide array of “climate change boards, councils and working groups” to infuse climate change into “programs, plans and policies.”
I'm not here to argue "climate change" any more than I will argue the daily cycle of light following darkness; darkness following light. That is not the issue. The issue is the forcing, the excessive translation of a lawful order from an E.O. to this shameless saddling of inefficiency.
Trust me, as a former planner who wrote no kidding OPLANS, if Climate Change needed to be part of one, we would have included it. If I suggested that we include it, I would have been laughed at by my peers, and reassigned to the exercise branch by my superiors.
This is, again, an own goal. This signals a the complete lack of seriousness and a leadership decoupled from reality. As Russia proves the value of hard power to force national will on others, we are creating huge bureaucratic processes that have nothing to do at all with serious tactical, operational, or strategic professional practice.
As for the professional planners, sure, they will follow this directive, but it will only be pro-forma. Just like the self-criticisms that the Soviet Political Officers would force people to do, they will go through the motions. If we are lucky, all that will be expended to check the box for this hobby horse will be a tasker to the METOC officer to produce a 1 to 2 page Annex to the OPLAN stuck in the back and ignored.
If you are disappointed or angry, feel free. They didn't have to go full potato in response to the E.O., but they did.
Until an election allows serious adults to be appointed to leadership positions, and a CINC that will CANX that E.O. we just have to live with it. That doesn't mean we can't slap it around a bit. It is worthy of scorn, satire, and general spite.
Is this driving procurement strategy? Is this driving CONOPS development? Or, as it appears, this is simply driving a political agenda using DOD time, personnel and resources?
There is a way to answer the mail without going the full Heaven's Gate - Hale-Bopp comet, but no - we are going to all in.
Here is who to blame.
The directive originated in the office of Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. Final approval came from Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work.You have a choice here. You can answer the mail without forcing yourself to become an advocate of a political agenda, or you can be a full-throated tool of The Party. You can just follow the minimum requirements of the lawful order with a shrug, or you can force yourself to be an advocate and signal to the Commissar what a good Party member you are.
The directive is loaded with orders to civilian leaders and officers on specifically how counter-climate change strategy is to permeate planning.
“This involves deliberate preparation, close cooperation, and coordinated planing by DoD to provide for the continuity of DoD operations, services and programs,” it states.
“The DoD must be able to adapt current and future operations to address the impacts of climate change in order to maintain an effective and efficient U.S. military,” it adds. “Mission planning and execution must include anticipating and managing any risks that develop as a result of climate change to build resilience.”
Climate change must be integrated in:
• Weapons buying and testing “across the life cycle of weapons systems, platforms and equipment.”
• Training ranges and capabilities.
• Defense intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance.
• Defense education and training.
• Combatant commander joint training with allies to “assess the risks to U.S. security interests posed by climate change.”
• Joint Chiefs of Staff collaboration “with allies and partners to optimize joint exercises and war games including factors contributing to geopolitical and socioeconomic instability.”
Some people have chosen the later. Let them come forward so we can at least identify them. It will help the sorting later.
UPDATE: You can read DOD DIRECTIVE 4715.21 in full here.