Strategy to Capability Framework: Planning for Success

DSCA developed the Strategy to Capability framework to standardize Security Cooperation strategic planning and streamline activity resource and execution integration.  Strategy to Capability provides the Department a common, simple, and intuitive picture of desired outcomes and Security Cooperation activities across multiple years that translates strategic guidance into partner nation capability.  

Strategy to Capability is an outcomes- and capabilities-based methodology that starts with the analysis of potential threats to the United States and its interests, which includes the security of allies and partners.  It articulates desired partner security roles, analyzes the partner’s will, and examines their ability to absorb, employ, and sustain capabilities necessary to perform roles.  The process culminates in the development of partner capabilities that support both U.S. and partner nation interests.  The framework ensures that all Security Cooperation activities — including, but not limited to defense/military engagements, training and education, equipping, advising, exercising, and information sharing — align with desired capabilities and Security Cooperation outcomes.  It provides a collective, comprehensive planning framework for the SC community. 

The framework allows the SC community to follow a common approach to capability development that benefits all Security Cooperation stakeholders, but offers sufficient flexibility to leverage elements of their existing planning frameworks.  The result is a process that allows the SC community to plan, resource, and implement activities that build partner nation capabilities according to clear, measurable goals tied to strategic imperatives.   

The Strategy to Capability framework includes four levels of independent analysis drawn from desired strategic outcomes.  Each level results in products that synthesize strategic outcomes with varying degrees of program activity to inform program planning, development, and execution.  While each level is informed by the other levels, they are not dependent upon each other.  However, if one level of analysis is completed, then the information in the remaining levels should correlate.

  • Level 1: Strategic Framework
    Develops a holistic view of desired country- specific outcomes and major SC efforts
  • Level 2: Five Year Plan
    Facilitates planning across fiscal years
  • Level 3: System Program Management
    Provides an in-depth review of case lifecycle milestones
  • Level 4: Interagency Targeted Action Plan
    Facilitates strategic competition: support contingencies and deny adversaries