Davis, Paul K. RAND and Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School, Santa Monica, California.
- Intellectual origins
- Problems and controversies
- Achieving adaptiveness
- Additional Readings
Capabilities-based planning (CBP) is a general approach to strategic planning, but one associated primarily with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The DoD announced the shift to capabilities-based planning as a major theme in 2001, “to shift the basis of defense planning from the ‘threat-based' model that has dominated thinking in the past to a ‘capabilities-based' model for the future. This model focuses more on how an adversary might fight rather than specifically who the adversary might be or where a war might occur.” A key to planning would be confronting the profound uncertainties that make it impossible to know the identities of future combatant powers or the circumstances of conflict many years in advance. Planning would maintain a broad “portfolio” of military capabilities in functional areas such as power projection and effective use of space and information technology. Another emphasis was to be managing strategic risks. The DoD is in the process of implementing capabilities-based planning. Other federal, state, and national organizations (for example, the Department of Homeland Security) have also adopted this approach, or approaches that borrow from it. What, then, is capabilities-based planning?
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