Theater Strategy and Campaigning (TSC)
Theater Strategy and Campaigning (TSC) focuses on the examination and the implementation of National Guidance through the application of joint doctrine, which is translated into theater strategies, campaign plans, and joint operations. This course does not produce military planners. Instead, TSC aims to build upon the subjects already covered in the core curriculum to develop leaders capable of translating strategic policy and guidance into theater campaign plans that support national objectives. While most students have some experience in the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP), others do not. However, subtle differences in planning exist between the tactical, operational, and theater-strategic levels. Joint doctrine titles MDMP as the Joint Operational Planning Process (JOPP). Few students have had personal experience at this level of planning. The focus of JOPP is on the interaction between an organization's commander, staff, the commanders and staffs of the next higher and lower commands, as well as with supporting commander's staffs. You should continuously ask yourself "what is different at this level?" You will also conduct a detailed examination of Design. Design is a creative and cognitive commander-centric process that seeks to develop an understanding of the strategic (national and/or multinational) guidance and objectives combined with a thorough understanding of the operational environment prior to and during campaign planning. This process leads to the development of the commander's vision for the conduct of the campaign, which enables the application of operational art through the JOPP. The result is an enduring strategic concept for sustained employment of military power to enable the accomplishment of national and/or multinational policy. You will apply strategic leader skills, and incorporate the national security strategy and the national military strategy as we participate in an active learning environment designed to cause you to develop near- and long-term plans and programs. At the conclusion of the course, you will have studied and practiced the art and science of theater-strategic warfare. There are no school solutions. You must actively contribute and participate, think critically and creatively at the strategic and operational levels, and apply innovative solutions to complex problems created by uncertainty during a period of dynamic change in the world. The course flows from an understanding of the Environment of the Combatant Commander to Crisis Action Planning. While the Environment of the commander is complex and the Strategic Direction often vague, Design provides the framing mechanism for Campaign Planning, thus translating the commander's cognitive processes into guidance resulting in analytical staff and subordinate plans. A "scenario" focusing on Southeast Asia provides the basis for contingency and Crisis Action planning, which occurs via in-seminar practicum. The scenario emphasizes the importance of all of the elements of power. Vexing and complex problems associated with traditional warfare, irregular warfare, stability operations, unified operations, theater of war organization, and multinational operations are addressed throughout the course.
  The course contains five modules. Module I: "Implementing the National Military Strategy," provides an examination of the strategic environment, national direction, defense and support of the homeland, and the unified action of the DoD in concert with other major USG actors which governs the design and planning actions of the combatant commander emphasizing the military element of power. This module bridges the national policy covered in the NSPS course to its implementation at the Combatant Command level. Module II: "Domains of Conflict," provides a comprehensive examination of the domains of conflict (Physical [Land, Maritime, Air], Cyber and Global Commons [including Space]). Module III: "Mission Command and the Joint Functions." Using case study analysis, this module explores each of the joint functions and evaluates how a commander integrates these functions to produce synergistic effects within a theater of operations. Additionally, the modules will examine other elements inherent to military operations, such as setting and maintaining a theater, strategic communications and information operations, multinational operations, and mission command. Module IV: "Operational Art and Theater Strategy," enables students to understand the need for a more adaptive military planning system and culture at the CCMD and national level. It also addresses the shift from contingency-based planning to strategy-based planning, and the role of the CCMD in building theater strategy and how that strategy becomes operationalized. Module V: "Joint Operational Planning," through a series of exercises, guides the students through the initiation of a contingency plan to the development of a Concept of operations. The students will then analyze the remaining steps in JOPP that lead to an Operations Plan (OPLAN). Finally, the students will develop an understanding of how the combatant commander and staff use Operational Design within Crisis Action Planning (CAP) to reframe the operational environment and develop operational approaches to respond to crisis.