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National Military Strategic Plan for the War on Terrorism

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The National Military Strategic Plan for the War on Terrorism (NMSP-WOT) was submitted February 1, 2006, by General Richard B. Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The NMSP-WOT "constitutes the comprehensive military plan to prosecute the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) for the Armed Forces of the United States. It is the plan that guides the contributions of the Combatant Commands, the Military Departments, Combat Support Agencies and Field Support Activities of the United States to protect and defend the homeland, attack terrorists and their capacity to operate effectively at home and abroad, and support mainstream efforts to reject violent extremism. The NMSP-WOT fulfills the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s responsibilities for strategic planning and provides strategic guidance for military activities and operations in the GWOT. The strategy articulates the military contribution to achieving the national GWOT objectives as identified in the: National Security Strategy (NSS), National Defense Strategy (NDS), National Military Strategy (NMS)," it states on page 9.

See the unclassified version of the 40-page plan (pdf). "The classified version of this document supersedes" the NMSP-WOT dated October 19, 2002 (page 30).

Purpose

According to the Foreword to the plan signed by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, it

  • "presents the approach the DoD will take in fulfilling its role within the larger national strategy for combatting terrorism"
  • "reflects the lessons learned" by the U.S. Department of Defense "after three and a half years of war"
  • "is meant to provide the department's commanders and planners guidance on military objectives and their relative priority in the allocation of resources"; and
  • "provides guidance as well for cooperation with other U.S. Government documents and agencies and with coalition partners for planning and conducting military operations."

The Enemy

The enemy is defined in the report (page 6) as "a transnational movement of extremist organizations, networks, and individuals—and their state and non-state supporters—which have in common that they exploit Islam and use terrorism for ideological ends. The Al Qa’ida Associated Movement (AQAM), comprised of al Qa’ida and affiliated extremists, is the most dangerous present manifestation of such extremism. Certain other violent extremist groups also pose a serious and continuing threat."

"Extremists use terrorism—the purposeful targeting of ordinary people—to produce fear to coerce or intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of political, religious, or ideological goals. Extremists use terrorism to impede and undermine political progress, economic prosperity, the security and stability of the international state system, and the future of civil society."

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