Defense Sector Plans Team (DSP)

The DSP Team provides political-military analysis and recommendations to State Department leadership on emergent national security issues. Leveraging our global strategic perspective to assist regional and functional bureaus in addressing regional and global challenges, we work closely with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, and Combatant Commands to help develop comprehensive political-military solutions to complex national security issues. The DSP Team assesses the viability of defense policy options and alternatives, and develops and recommends innovative approaches that maximize support to U.S. foreign policy goals. It provides Department input to DoD efforts in policy and institutional reform, and further identifies key trends and issues in national security affairs, and assesses the potential impact on State Department plans, programs, activities, and authorities.

The DSP Team recommends policies, actions, and planning guidance and input to DoD and is the primary Department of State point of contact for DoD Combatant Commands, Joint Staff J5, and Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy/Plans for interagency coordination. The DSP team accomplishes this by:

  • Facilitating the development of global and regional political-military plans and guidance with DoD (e.g., Global Campaign Plans, and regional campaign, posture, and contingency plans), including through Promote Cooperation and Unified Approach planning synchronization programs;
  • Liaising with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy/Plans, the Joint Staff (J5), the Combatant Commands, and the military services on political-military issues involving strategic planning and foreign policy highlighting the diplomatic aspects of campaign plans, campaign support plans, and war plans;
  • Improving political-military coordination and effectiveness across agencies through participation in planning, training events, and exercises in various fora, seminars, war games and conferences;
  • Representing the Department in DoD’s Global Defense Posture planning and decision-making bodies, and by managing force structure change processes; and
  • Co-chairing the Diplomacy, Development, and Defense (“3D”) Working Group along with Joint Staff J5 and USAID. The 3D Working Group is comprised of a community of planners who meet regularly to discuss ongoing planning efforts as well as how to enhance the coordination of interagency planning processes.