Download Full Text (695 KB)


The authors report their observations of the different ways combatant commanders-in-chief (CINCs) produce a strategy document, and suggest that new joint doctrine is needed to bring a degree of regularity and orderliness to the CINCs' strategic planning process. The CINCs' Strategies: The Combatant Command Process provides a brief look at the CINCs' strategy objectives and concepts in order to place the planning process in context. The focus of the study, however, is on the process itself as it exists and could be further developed. With our National Security and National Military Strategies so clearly directed toward shaping the international environment, effectively responding to crises, and preparing for major theater warfare and smaller-scale operations, the unified actions of our joint forces can be greatly enhanced by joint doctrine which guides military planning for the strategic level of war.

Publication Date



combatant commanders-in-chief; CINCs; strategic planning; combatant command; joint doctrine; military planning; Mendel; Turbiville

The CINCs' Strategies: The Combatant Command Process