HQ ARRC and "Operationalising" the Comprehensive Approach
The center of gravity of the Comprehensive Approach must be the four-star theater command with standardized High Readiness Forces (Land) (HRF (L)) fighting the tactical battle.Ideally, the Strategic Concept should call for a bespoke Comprehensive Approach Command under the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) to ensure that civil-military integration takes place from top to bottom.
Julian Lindley-French, Head, Commander's Initiative Group (CIG)
Over the past year HQ ARRC has evolved in aneffort to better achieve unity of purposein hybrid conflict and to ‘operationalise' the Comprehensive Approach. We are at the forefront of NATO's efforts to achieve genuinely integrated civilian/military planning and execution and have informed the re-write of the NATO Strategic Concept accordingly.
Lieutenant General Sir Richard Shirreff KCB CBE
Commander Allied Rapid Reaction Corps
The Comprehensive Approach is the generation and application of security, governance, and development services, expertise, structures, and resources over time and distance in partnership with host nations, host regions, allied and partner governments and partner institutions, both governmental and non governmental.
There has been much debate about the evolving character of conflict and HQ ARRC remains closely engaged in both national and multinational discussion on it; however its attention has been focused on the practical application of the theories – how to operationalise them. It is axiomatic that hybrid threats need to be met with hybrid responses, however there remain varying views on what they should be. Whilst not every future mission will be countering insurgency or stabilisation, operating "amongst the people” means military activity is inherently a civil-military venture where achieving unity of purpose depends on close integration between civilian and military actors. Furthermore, no single Component can operate alone and reliance on other Components exists at increasingly lower levels; US doctrine usefully terms this Joint interdependence.
Closer civil-military integration and Joint interdependence demand a changed approach to command and control. Achieving this on a national basis is daunting – however complex operations are inherently multinational and multi-agency; military staff at relatively low level must therefore be capable of and comfortable with working with civilians and military staff from other nations – including those of a host nation. Responding to these new challenges also demands an evolution in the shape and functions of military HQs.
HQ ARRC's approach has been to focus on 5 key areas to meet these challenges: influence as a central organising concept; integrated civil-military planning; an organic civil support staff; improved capacity for and coordination of Information Activity; and a permanent focus for Security Force Assistance. Underpinning these are the need for an Information Fusion centre and use of a civilian-manned Commander's Initiative Group (CIG). As a result the ARRC's structure has been revised and experimentation of the concepts was seen most recently on Exercise ARRCADE FUSION 09.