The ISS course provides an opportunity to learn a lot about initial understanding of national security policy, national strategy and strategic leadership which obviously will help me future positions as a senior strategic leader or their adviser to think, to make a decision then to act professionally. Professor Thomas P. Galvin had identified several competencies that describes altitude, behavior, values and ethics specifically associated with senior military leadership.
Four of these competencies are “persistent”, or which does every day a “mid- career” officer. The rest four mission-specific roles for senior leaders that require skills and knowledge taught at the highest levels of professional military education, experiences and abilities to react in the critical environment. These are: 1. Strategic adviser and communicator; 2. Strategic planner; 3. Strategic theorist; and 4. Senior leader at the strategic level (Endnote 1. Prof. Thomas P. Galvin, “Welcome to the Seminar,” April, 2015 ). Prof Examples given in the ISS course and what | have read, combined with my own reflection on my career have convinced me that I need to strengthen two “mission-specific” roles, which are “Strategic planner” and “Senior leader at the strategic level”. While I have some past experience as a chief of staff a military unit, I have not yet worked in the higher military strategic level.
So, ISS course helped me better understand complexity of the strategic environment. Prof. P. Galvin describes “Strategic planner” as “Senior leaders design, develop, and execute strategic plans, employ force and other dimensions of power, unify military and non-military activities, and apply ends, ways, and means. Strategic planners must display a propensity for operating comfortably at the joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational levels. They show comfort in dealing with complex adaptive systems and acknowledging and addressing the political dimension of military operations without compromising the principles of campaign planning. (2. Prof. Thomas P. Galvin, “Welcome to the Seminar,” April, 2015)
In my understanding from this course I can give an example General Schwarzkopf as a “Strategic planner” who designed, developed and executed at first-hand strategic plans “Desert Shield and Desert Storm” on the Gulf War 1990-91. He alongside with his strategic team designed strategic military operations which let them won each operations with less military lost and casualties.
His skills as an experienced Vietnam veteran helped him to achieve military goals. Then his ability to evaluate the real situation shown when he established a military campaign to liberate Kuwait “In deciding to hit Saddam’s Republican Guard, Schwarzkopf determined that Saddam’s elite troops represented a key center of gravity, a core component of an enemy’s force, economy, or political structure that if destroyed would cause the enemy’s fighting ability to collapse. ” (endnote 3. William T. Allison, “The Gulf War 1990-91″ P-97)
As a Command-in chief CENTCOM and Coalition forces he created structure and conditions to effectively manage multinational Coalition forces “To incorporate Coalition military partners into the campaign, Schwarzkopf established Join Forces Command (JFC) North and South. In addition to his CENTCOM joint command staff, he established a Coalition command to include Lieutenant General Prince Khalid bin Sultan al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, French General Michel Roquejeoffre, and Lieutenant General Peter de la Billiere of Great Britain. ” (endnote 4. William T. Allison, “The Gulf War 1990-91″ p. 102. ).
All mentioned examples direct me to understand that I need to improve and master my skills and lead me to the next mission-specific role. USAWC defined strategic leadership as “ The process used by a leader to affect the achievement of a desirable and clearly understood vision by influencing the organizational culture, allocating resources, directing through policy and directive, and building consensus within a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous global environment which is marked by opportunities and threats. (Strategic Leadership Primer, 3rd Edition, p. 2. )
As a Senior Leader at the strategic level I can see General Colin Powell, who has served in Vietnam and Korea, achieved from tactical and operational levels of the Army to high strategic levels of the Department of Defense and different high strategic political positions. His experience helped him to define new realities in the new “world order”.
His vision as senior leader at the strategic level was a transition of the huge structure of the armed forces to less but still capable of performing basic missions pursuant U. S. Constitution “a shift from a solely threat-based force to a threat- and capability- based force”. (Colin L. Powell, My American Journey, p. 451) He had great interpersonal competencies which include ability to negotiate and to build consensus within organizations, different Departments, Agencies which let him persuade them to agree on his vision.
In the ISS course and from my perspective these examples, given above result of experiences and hard work have been done for hull career of our heroes, result of knowledge obtained since initial military education through higher military professional education, result of skills and capacities that requires strategic leaders, result of strong spirit and believes, result of willingness to serve to their country and protect it’s national interests.
It is important to learn from them as a strategic leaders, acting on crucial military positions when almost whole world were looking at their actions which they met. General Schwarzkopf could establish strategic team work when he designed, developed and executed strategic plans, which included multinational forces from 28 countries. General Powell’s strategic vision and direction served as a foundation for transition the most powerful armed forces in the world after “Cold War”“.