Streamlining and Revitalizing the US Hypersonic Weapon Investment Strategy

The current DoD hypersonic weapon investment strategy is untenable over the next three to four years which will widen the capability gap with Russia and China.  The investment strategy needs to be streamlined based on acquisition, test, and fiscal realities to field a hypersonic weapon by 2023.  In order to enable success, the DoD should begin to consolidate the hypersonic weapon efforts to one per service to help alleviate budgets, focus requirements, and reduce competition at test facilities.

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Strategic Rationale for Deep Space Operations

Authors Jefferson, Hans, and Wehrle use historical examples and national security to discuss the importance of deep space exploration and the requirement for advanced propulsion systems.

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OTH Commentary: The Future of Space

In the wake of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch, OTH sat down with General Raymond, Commander, Air Force Space Command. Preview his interview here.

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OTH Video Interview with Gen Jay Raymond, Commander Air Force Space Command

General Jay Raymond discusses space as a warfighting domain and what the historic Falcon Heavy launch means for the military

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Orbital Red Tails: The Use of Escort Satellites to Defend National Intelligence Satellites

Undefended National Intelligence satellites require escort satellites to defend them based on the criticality of their service to national security.

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Air Force Culture Is Impeding The Space Mission

The culture of the Air Force is defined from the mission statement; to fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace. Air has always been the first domain in the mission and the main focus of the Air Force. Considering this cultural mindset, the other two domains in the mission statement will not receive the attention they need until the culture is changed.

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What Problem is the US Space Force Trying to Solve: Part 2

These are the final two problems facing the US when it comes to conflict in space. A Space Force can solve these problems, similar to the USAF in 1947.

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What Problem is a US Space Force Trying to Solve?

There are two problems facing the US when it comes to conflict in space. A Space Force can solve these problems, similar to the USAF in 1947.

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May We Mutate

The DoD, with all its branches and organizations, has adopted a model of pursuing innovation that creates peripheral spaces for experimentation and development, which has proven effective to an extent. The next steps to becoming inherently and organically innovative require focusing on the internal characteristics of the institution and its various bodies, from both cultural and systemic perspectives, to identify where mutation and adaptability can be incorporated into the smallest component parts. By adopting these measures, innovations can emerge organically from within their unique context, and those developed at the periphery can be adopted more easily and effectively, as adaptation enables more contextually appropriate integration.

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The 21st Century Scramble for Africa

The 2017 National Security Strategy states that the United States is in a great power competition with China and Russia that spans the globe. China and Russia have been actively promoting their national interests in Africa and competing with the United States’ vision for the continent. The following analysis will examine China and Russia’s activities in Africa and explain why the United States should be concerned with their increased influence.

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The 6th Warfighting Domain

From the end of the 20th into the 21st century, the line between military operations and daily civilian activities began to blur as operations increasingly came to rely on the space and cyberspace domains. Thus, new possibilities for reaching nonmilitary personnel in warfare were created. In 1991, the Gulf War highlighted the effectiveness of precision navigation and strike, as enabled by space assets. Now, the space domain enables combined arms integration across land, sea, and air. Working in concert with space, the cyberspace domain exponentially increases global connectivity and global reach. The current battlespace is so globally connected that civilian populations are held at risk, and the lines between civilian and military activity are ceasing to exist. War is increasingly taking on a different form and shifting from physical to virtual as the way to achieve victory.

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The Future of Fake News

Today, we have a new name to an old face: fake news. It seduces us for a variety of reasons: authority bias (considering information to be correct if given by an authoritative figure or organization), the third-person effect (perceiving ourselves as less likely to be swayed by the mass media or our own biases), confirmation bias (tending to look for information confirming our own preconceptions), etc. However, two recent developments, enabled by failing academic standards and artificial intelligence, are making it even easier to succumb to . . . while fake news continues its literal warpath, it is critical to look out for research misconduct and deepfakes.

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More Than Kinetic Effects: Globally Integrated Operations in the Information Environment

  By Thomas A. Drohan Approximate Reading Time: 5 Minutes A recent YouTube video features Chief of Staff of the

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Great Power Competition in the Western Hemisphere

The 2017 National Security Strategy states that the United States is in great power competition with China and Russia that spans the world. China and Russia do not acknowledge the Monroe Doctrine’s assertion that the Western Hemisphere is the United States’ unchallenged sphere of influence and have been actively promoting their interests in the region. The following analysis will examine China and Russia’s activities in the Western Hemisphere in order to paint a picture of the breadth of influence operations that are being undertaken.

The United States must rebuild relationships with its allies and partners in the Western Hemisphere to mutually safeguard and protect the region. The problem should be framed as a common threat to regional stability and the United States should cooperate with its allies and partners on a peer-to-peer basis. The United States needs to be conscious of its stigma in Latin America as an imperial power that attempts to dictate foreign policy to others. The United States should strive to articulate why it offers the best model for future development and why China and Russia are harmful for the region.

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User-Centered Design is Critical to the Success of Multi-Domain Operations

By: Dr. Kristen K. Liggett and Dr. Gina F. Thomas Estimated Read Time: 11 minutes Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) is the

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Leading the Waveform: Evolving Spectrum Leadership for Future Wars

Electromagnetic spectrum operations (EMSO) incorporate a vast array of capabilities from space control to cyberspace operations, as well as the atmospheric effects traditionally known as electronic warfare (EW). These capabilities require the development of experts and leaders that integrate each niche mission set into robust EMSO that support multi-domain operations. Brig Gen Gaedecke stated that “the Air Force should deliberately refocus efforts on electronic warfare and the EMS as a whole.” This renewed focus must begin with the development of EMS leadership from tactical to senior levels to effectively advocate for solutions. Recognizing the EMS as a domain enables the joint force by highlighting its need for expertise, which then supports the critical problem solving and tactics development required to compete in future conflicts.

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Electromagnetic Pulse Threats to America’s Electric Grid: Counterpoints to Electric Power Research Institute Positions         

Editor’s note: This article is part of a supporting engagement with the Electromagnetic Defense Task Force’s efforts in order to

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OODA Point: The Requirement for an Airman’s Approach to Operational Design (Part II)

The ability to make and execute timely and effective decisions has been the foundation of military success for millennia. In the next decade, however, Combined Force Air Component Commanders (CFACC) planning, decision, and execution (PDE) cycles will be confronted by unprecedented challenges emerging in the constantly evolving digital ecosystem. The era of unrivaled access to the electromagnetic spectrum and dominance in multiple domains is rapidly coming to a close for the US airpower. As more and more state and non-state actors gain access to advanced technology, the CFACC’s PDE cycles will transition from an observe, orient, decide, act (OODA) loop to an OODA point. This phenomenon will also have a significant influence on the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) measures necessary to shape and execute preplanned and emergent decisions in contested operational environments. One way of mitigating these nascent vulnerabilities is to develop a deliberate framework of operational design focused on airpower to provide a proactive form of vision for future CFACCs.

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OODA Point: The Requirement for an Airman’s Approach to Operational Design (Part I)

By: Dr. Jeffrey Reilly Approximate Reading Time: 15 Minutes Abstract: The ability to make and execute timely and effective decisions

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Using Prizes to Harness the Power of the Population

By: Michael Carlson Estimated reading time: 5 minutes The United States (US) Air Force proudly proclaims it has been “breaking

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The US National Security Strategy Needs Combined Effects

By: Tom Drohan Approximate Reading Time: 17 minutes Excerpt: Strategic leaders blend theoretical and applied thinking to realize goals. Competitive strategy is

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Chicken Little’s Quantum Sky

The term “quantum” has been thrown around in the past few years to mean anything from extremely fast internet to the next wave in computing. The truth is “quantum” can be applied to a variety of technologies; but is all based off the theories of quantum mechanics, or how sub-atomic particles interact and behave. Like Schrödinger’s Cat, this abstract is quantum-based, it both exists and doesn’t exist, until you read it just now.

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Tactics of Strategy and Strategy of Tactics

By: Tom Drohan Approximate Reading Time: 12 minutes Excerpt: Smart competitors are using tactics of strategy to achieve broader-than-military objectives,

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Tackling Tomorrow’s High Value Airborne Assets Anti-Access/Area-Denial Problem – Part Two

In Part One of a two-part series, the author describes the threat that Anti-Access/Area-Denial weapons pose to current Iron Triad operations. Part Two will discuss solutions that use current technology to overcome future capabilities.

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Tackling Tomorrow’s High Value Airborne Assets Anti-Access/Area-Denial Problem – Part One

In Part One of a two-part series, the author describes the threat that Anti-Access/Area-Denial weapons pose to current Iron Triad operations. Part Two will discuss solutions that use current technology to overcome future capabilities.

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Multi-Domain Operations: Everyone’s Doing It, Just Not Together

The military services are continuing to forge the way in MDO, but what progress has been made and will they be able to achieve joint efficiency?

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An Approachable Look at the Human Domain and Why We Should Care

Within the context of multi-domain operations, the human domain is arguably the most important domain, but it is often the most overlooked. This article proposes implementation of the domain through the use of planning for desired behaviors prior to conflict. It also discusses how Russia views information warfare, their practices, and a case study of its importance in the Crimean Annexation.

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Post-INF Treaty: Likely US Military Outcomes and Implications

What does a Post-INF world look like for the United States? An ensuing arms race is likely, leveraging new tech to counter Russia and China.

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Where does Special Operations fit in the Multi-Domain Operations Discussion?

Understanding Special Operations role in MDO; SOCOM offers an integration model to be replicated, and SOF’s role in a near-peer MDO conflict.

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Uniting the Indo-Pacific under the Strategic Airlift Coalition: A Blueprint for Future Security Assurance

The Pacific Strategic Airlift Coalition (PAC SAC) offers an airpower blueprint for future security assurance in the Indo-Pacific.    

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Information War is the Continuation of Politics by Other Memes: Information, Disinformation, and Social Media as Weapons

The article will analyze how Russia is using social media to generate and spread disinformation to distort facts and divide the US government and society.

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Preparing for the Unpredictable: Accident Management in Great Power Competition

This article identifies the potential of international accidents across domains and identifies factors decision makers must consider before/after an accident.

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Artificial Intelligence: A Non-State Actor’s New Best Friend

An AI application that is being overlooked in the defense community is the potential for non-state actors to use AI to expand their capabilities at a low-cost.

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Decision Maneuver: the Next Revolution in Military Affairs

The next major arena of military competition will likely be information and decision-making, and the U.S. must harness future technology.

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Designing for the Future of Defense and Security (Interview Part 4)

This is Part 4 of a 4-part series interview between IBM and the JSOU SOF Design and Innovation Program Director, Ben Zweibelson.

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Designing for the Future of Defense and Security (Interview Part 3)

This is Part 3 of a 4-part series interview between IBM and the Joint Special Operations University’s (JSOU) SOF Design and Innovation Program Director, Ben Zweibelson.

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Designing for the Future of Defense and Security (Interview Part 2)

This is Part 2 of a 4-part series interview between IBM and the JSOU SOF Design and Innovation Program Director, Ben Zweibelson

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Designing for the Future of Defense and Security (Interview Part 1)

This is a 4-part series interview between IBM and the Joint Special Operations University’s (JSOU) SOF Design and Innovation Program Director, Ben Zweibelson

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Podcast 8: Multi-Domain Leadership – An Interview with Colonel Doug DeMaio

Col DeMaio discussed a variety of topics to include the origins of the Air Force of MDC2 initiative and current efforts to integrate in the joint community.

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Air Mobility Command’s Future Tanker Problem

The DoD faces a significant crisis in its power projection capability. The ability to execute missions in an A2/AD environment needs to be reevaluated in terms of AAR.

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A Bomber for the Navy

Rather that sending the B-1 Lancer into early retirement, the Department of Defense could transfer it to the Navy for duty as a land-based ship-killer.

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Publicly Available Information: The Secret to Unclassified Data, Part II

This intends to increase awareness of what PAI is, and what it is not, within the Air Force ISR Enterprise and determine its value to enhance our ability to solve problems.

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Publicly Available Information: The Secret to Unclassified Data, Part I

This article focuses on awareness of what PAI is, and what it is not, within the Air Force ISR Enterprise and determine its value to solve our most challenging problems.

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Innovation Madness: Accepting Risk Today to Avoid Defeat Tomorrow

The United States Air Force (USAF) recognizes a need for future innovations as near-peer competitors make rapid advancements in military capabilities. However, the current USAF system does not facilitate keeping up with these competitors. Innovation requires a cultural shift regarding risk acceptability at all levels, starting with leaders. The USAF can facilitate this shift by further addressing regulatory guidance and Professional Military Education programs. Until the USAF as an organization is willing to accept risks and ultimately failures to achieve success, mission impacting innovations will continue to be elusive.

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Outlining the Multi-Domain Operational Concept Part III: Moving Toward Practical Application

Multi-domain theory contains the potential for problem-based—rather than Service-based—solutions, leading to increased options for warfighters and decision-makers while presenting adversaries with increasing dilemmas.
By Jon Bott

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Outlining the Multi-Domain Operational Concept Part II: Evolution of an Idea

It is important to recognize multi-domain operations as an important new operational concept that is more mindset than prescribed method, one that evolves previous thought, and one that itself deserves continued development.
By Jonathan Bott

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Outlining the Multi-Domain Operating Concept

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes Editor’s Note: This week we will be republishing a 3-part series focused on the idea

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A paradigm shift in Professional Military Education

Estimated Viewing Time: 2 Mins Thomas Kuhn’s classic The Structure of Scientific Revolutions explains how fields of study are firmly

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The “Little Friends” of 2030?: The Future of Air Superiority

By: Dr. Heather Venable Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes At the beginning of World War II, the Army Air Forces

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Vulnerabilities of Multi-Domain Command and Control (Part 2)

Part 2 of the series focuses on how a peer adversary may leverage cyber, space, and EW threats against command and control capabilities, and how these effects may be mitigated through the distribution of authorities to smaller teams.

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