In 2016, NATO’s two Strategic Commands introduced the NATO Lessons Learned Optimization Action Plan which required the JALLC to: “...actively support the implementation and sustainment of the NATO LL Policy across NATO.” The JALLC has since adapted its activities including its analysis capability, which now offers three distinct types of JALLC Analysis to suit different requirements: Joint Analysis , Short Term Analysis, and NATO Lessons Learned Portal (NLLP) Content Analysis.
Access to NATO and the Nations: As a NATO body, the JALLC has access to relevant information from the NLLP, internal NATO repositories, NATO Operations, NATO Exercises, and the ability to reach out to NATO entities, the Nations, and Partner Nations in order to collect data and information that other entities cannot easily access. This enables the JALLC to quickly access relevant documentation and to identify and connect with appropriate experts.
Customer focus and understanding: The JALLC approaches every analysis as a unique requirement, working closely with its analysis customers to understand their needs and ensure those needs are met. The combination of military and civilian analysts, means that the JALLC’s analysis project teams know NATO, know the military, and know how to professionally research and communicate complex issues to senior military and civilian decision makers. Making sure the information is delivered in well-written, clear, and concise products, on time.
Rigorous quality assurance: All JALLC Analysis and the resulting products are subject to a quality assurance process. Highly experienced and trained staff internally review all JALLC Analysis products for relevance, accuracy, and logical consistency. Additionally, whenever possible, JALLC Analysis products are sent for external review by relevant experts. This approach to quality ensures that JALLC Analysis products are useful and reliable references that remain valid in the long term.
Objectivity and Independence: As part of the NATO Command Structure, the JALLC is well-placed to observe and analyse NATO-wide issues from an independent perspective—i.e. outside the scope of political or financial influences. The JALLC’s evidence-based approach to analysis empowers customers and stakeholders to explore issues from multiple perspectives, to share knowledge and to build consensus.
What is Joint Analysis?
Joint Analysis is the systematic and in-depth study of a complex issue involving multiple entities in order to identify enduring systemic improvements at the operational and strategic levels. Analysts use applied research and different types of analysis techniques to combine existing knowledge from inside and outside the organization in order to understand complex issues from different perspectives. The result of a Joint Analysis project is a knowledge product tailored to support specific decisions or staff work, and to capture and preserve knowledge as part of NATO’s long-term organizational learning. A Joint Analysis project typically takes six to nine months to complete due to the depth and breadth of the research and analysis undertaken.
Impact of Joint Analysis
Since 2003, the JALLC has conducted over 200 Joint Analysis projects for customers from all over NATO, resulting in reports that contain actionable recommendations at the operational, military-strategic, and strategic levels. The JALLC’s Joint Analysis projects have captured, preserved, and institutionalized knowledge on complex issues arising in nearly every major NATO operation, exercise or event since the JALLC was established in 2002. These include:
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan,
NATO Training Mission – Iraq (NTM-I),
Kosovo Force (KFOR),
Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR,
Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR,
Operation OCEAN SHIELD,
NATO Disaster Relief to Pakistan,
ALLIED ACTION Exercises, and
TRIDENT/STEADFAST NATO Response Force (NRF) Major Joint Exercises.
The JALLC’s Joint Analysis products also support ongoing change initiatives and staff work in areas such as policy reviews, concept development, doctrine updates, exercise planning and operational planning. For example:
Concept Development: The NATO Assistant Secretary General International Staff Operations Division requested the JALLC to compare lessons from NATO’s, the European Union’s and the United Nations' activities relating to good governance and in particular counter- and anti-corruption. The resulting JALLC Joint Analysis report was used as a primary reference during the development of a new NATO Concept for Building Integrity in Operations.
Capability Development: In 2020, the JALLC published its findings on the current NATO Tactical Air Command and Control Model and how it could be improved in a potential larger than Major Joint Operation scenario in order to optimize Air-Land Integration in Alliance operations. As a direct result of the recommendations, Allied Land Command and Allied Air Command took action to coordinate an approach to further improve this capability. See the corresponding factsheet here.
Training and Exercises: The largest NATO exercise of 2017, TRIDENT JAVELIN (TRJN), was a key opportunity for the JALLC to observe, analyse, and make recommendations in three key areas of the exercise’s design and delivery. The findings captured in the report contributed to the Joint Warfare Centre's continuous work to improve the delivery of exercises to the NATO Command Structure, and they remain valid today as NATO continues seek optimal solutions for training its fighting forces. Read more about it here.
Operations: In support of Allied Land Command, the JALLC developed the first edition of an enhanced Forward Presence Handbook, based on Lessons Learned since the deployment of four battle groups to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. The handbook contains more than 50 good practices, notes, and recommendations from the formation of a battle group through its own implementation of a Lessons Learned process. The classified handbook is a living document, used by soldiers and decision-makers alike and is updated as new lessons and best practices come to light. Read more about it here.
Requesting and Delivering Joint Analysis
The JALLC is tasked by Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) to fulfil Joint Analysis Requirements for a variety of NATO (and NATO-affiliated) entities. HQ SACT regularly invites NATO (and NATO-affiliated) entities to submit their Joint Analysis Requirements for the JALLC’s Programme of Work and emergent Joint Analysis Requirements can also be submitted at any time. Priority is given to Joint Analysis Requirements that:
are endorsed by a senior leader,
align with NATO priorities,
identify complex operational/strategic level issues involving multiple entities, and
where the JALLC’s analysis expertise, access to NATO data, and independence make it the most suitable analysis entity to complete the work.
The JALLC ensures timely delivery of high-quality evidence-based analysis products, by managing its analysis projects in accordance with the JALLC Project Approach, an adaption of the PRINCE2® (Projects In a Controlled Environment) project management best practices.
Finalized Joint Analysis products are delivered to the originator of the Joint Analysis Requirement and related stakeholders and also published in the NATO Secret NATO Lessons Learned Portal and JALLC NATO Information Portal sites, and, as appropriate, on the non classified version of the NATO Lessons Learned Portal. Report factsheets can be found here.
Short Term Analysis (STA) is the study of multiple sources of information/experience relating to a specific topic or activity in order to respond to priority Lessons Learned information needs.
The JALLC is tasked with conducting STA when there is a need to know about issues with strategic implications in a timely manner in order to inform relevant stake-holders, including NATO HQ and the Al-lies. STA is also employed when decision makers need Lessons Learned information from a wider variety of sources than avail-able in the NATO Lessons Learned Portal to support their work. In these circumstances the JALLC produces reports which identify key issues and may include initial recommendations tailored to the needs of senior decision makers. The JALLC handles STA through direct observation, interviews, statistical analysis and documentary research.
STA projects usually last one to five months in order to provide a satisfying answer in a concise and timely manner appropriate to the situation.
NLLP CONTENT ANALYSIS
NLLP Content Analysis (NCA), part of NLLP Active Content Management (ACM), is the analysis of Lessons Learned information and trends in the NLLP in order to facilitate the reuse of Lessons Learned information.
NCA is intended to support NATO and the Nations exploiting the Lessons Learned infor-mation contained in the NLLP. The results of NCA may identify the need for follow-on analysis such as STA or Joint Analysis.
NCA products typically take the form of routine reports that present an analysis of NLLP content and activity over a set reporting period, or ad-hoc reports that present a one-off summary of NLLP content relating to a specific topic of inter-est. Ad-hoc reports have previously been used to inform discussions at National and NATO committees, as well as capability development and doctrinal reviews. NCA may also include the development and use of NLLP data visualization tools, such as dashboards, some of which are made available to all NLLP users to support them in monitoring, reporting, and exploiting LL information in the NLLP.