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What Is Joint Interdependence

In: Business and Management

Submitted By sunnie
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What is Joint Interdependence Anyway?
Colonel Christopher R. Paparone, U.S. Army, and James A. Crupi, Ph.D.
HERE IS MUCH ADO lately about the concept of “joint interdependence” in future military operations. More than one four-star general has praised Operation Desert Storm’s joint deconfliction; that is, the conduct of relatively independent service operations orchestrated in space and time so as not to interfere with each other, as in air operations deconflicted with ground operations. In Operation Iraqi Freedom, U.S. forces achieved more joint interoperability with a variety of forces working together to a greater degree because processes were clear, such as using U.S. Air Force close air support in lieu of U.S. Army artillery. But, generals say the future of jointness is interdependence, with no service operating independently and all relying on each other’s capabilities to be successful. We are not completely satisfied with this vision of future joint interdependence. We are concerned that military leaders might inadvertently miss the leadership and organizational implications associated with interdependence. Instead of the discussion oriented on deconfliction, interoperability, and interdependence, we propose a more meaningful way to talk about the continuum of interdependence. We believe there are varying degrees of interdependence, each of which affects differently how the military organizes, leads, and achieves. The concept of interdependence might be best understood as a metaphor taken from the biological sciences. In biology, interdependence describes relationships for survival of an organism. Biology also describes complex or recursive variables that mutually affect each other. For example, human organs are interdependent—the liver cleanses the blood that the heart pumps. Other organisms and features of the environment are also interdependent. Animals...

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