CARLISLE BARRACKS, Pa.–Results of the Unified Quest 2008 wargame will be closely read by Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey, U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Commander Adm. Eric Olson, and U.S. Joint Forces Command JFCOM leader Marine Gen. James Mattis, who will examine game outcomes and match them to their thinking and future plans and budgets.

So, too, will multinational partners who will receive reports on the game from their representatives.

UQ08, which ran April 29-May 9, was co-hosted by the Army Training and Doctrine Command, JFCOM and SOCOM after nearly a year of focused seminars, workshops and smaller games.

Outcomes the service and commands were looking for included capability gaps, force structure, organizations and systems to inform leadership thinking today and as they build for the future.

Near-term, Casey asked for “actionable recommendations” the service could begin to move on immediately.

The wargame examined the 2013 to 2026 time period in various areas of the world where full spectrum operations were informed by irregular warfare and building partnership capacity.

Specific game study areas included the nature of persistent conflict; the implications for national military strategy; persistent security; full spectrum operations; building partnership capabilities; how to use influence to assure, dissuade, deter and defeat; irregular warfare; multinational interoperability; theater military advisory and assistance groups, operational command, and capstone concept refinement.

For JFCOM, UQ08 Team Lead Jim Booker told Defense Daily insights gained throughout the 10-month process, including a December seminar wargame the command hosted on Building Partnership Capacity, were brought to this game, including an insight about the importance of “regional assessment and whole of government approach” requirements.

“What was validated here was that there is a critical need for a whole of government approach to solving complex problems,” Booker said.

Comments and insights from the game will help the command answer pieces of the warfare challenge, he said.

The command hopes the game insights and results inform concept-writing effort on the Capstone Concept for Joint Operations (CCJO) the Strategic Communication Joint Integrating Concept (SC JIC) and the Military Support to Cooperative Security Joint Operating Concept (CS JOC).

“And for Unified Action group dealing with interagency, we want to continue to support the development of the Interagency Conflict Assessment Framework and development of four Reconstruction and Stabilization sector handbooks–governance, economic normalization, critical services and infrastructure, and rule of law–to provide guidance for military planners,” Booker said.

SOCOM identified six overall objectives for UQ ’08, game officials said. Those included examining global and persistent special operations forces (SOF); irregular warfare–and this included version 1.0 of the command’s Irregular Warfare Joint Operating Concept that laid out problems, solutions and capabilities; and global war on terrorism synchronization contribution to the strategy of building partnership capacity. Additionally, SOCOM wanted to learn more about special Operations Forces future employment, global collaborative planning and the SOF contribution to essential military roles.

Of those six objectives, two were primary: irregular warfare and global war on terror synchronization contribution to the strategy of building partnership capacity.

The future involvement of international partners is another area where game play led to ideas and more questions to consider.

Lt. Col. Giovanni Gagliano, Italian army General Staff Planning Division, told Defense Daily an Italian Army representative participated in all the months-long preparation for UQ ’08 and a delegation of one general officer and three other officers participated in the game here.

“The decision to participate at UQ ’08 comes from the recognition of the unique opportunity it offered to scout the possible development of future warfare from a multinational and interagency perspective,” he said. “With the great partnership between the U.S. and Italian Army, UQ ’08 represents a future venue to exchange professional views on the role of land forces in addressing future security requirements. Building a shared understanding on these topics will help forces from both countries better operate together wherever they will be deployed.”

For Col. Jean-Claude Brejot, French Army Doctrine Center, the wargame is a good opportunity to understand the way the other militaries think and plan and the commonalities as well as the differences.

Brejot found some insights, such as “the level of interoperability must go down to the brigade combat team level between nations to be effective.” Additionally, there needs to be a “better understanding of the sensitivities” when coalitions and multinational partners gather, compared to unilateral action. Add to that mix public opinion and legislative action.

Another area Brejot expects to look into further is System Operational Design (SOD) as used and discussed in his regional operational panel AFRICOM (FUTURE). An intellectual document, ” it redefines the theory of action,” and deserves further examination, he said. He expects to discuss with his chain of command what it is the U.S. Army is exploring.

“The world is a great challenge for young officers,” Brejot said. “It is more difficult to command now, it is a complex and different world now.” That means there could be a strategic need to educate them.

After analysis, there will be a preliminary report on UQ ’08 in the next few weeks, followed by a longer, more complete report by the end of the summer.