Human-led Machine Learning & Advanced Threats: Case Method Inquiry and Visual Analytics Applied to COVID-19

In a pervasive and complex information environment, analytics are vital to understanding advanced threats. As we rely more on machine-learnt results, asking the right questions and visualizing deep analysis are key to grasping and solving problems. These skills are also vital 21st century leadership tools that can forge a common focus among otherwise stove-piped specialists.

The COVID-19 pandemic presents an urgent threat that requires both scientific understanding and decisive leadership. The cause of the disease is SARS CoV-2, a mutating virus that thrives in conditions difficult to control at scale. To counter this threat, this article demonstrates in detail the potential of human-led case method and machine-provided visual analytics.

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Winning Wars of Cognition: Posturing the Air Force for the Tactical Information Fight

With the return of Great Power Competition, the United States (US), Russia, and China are engaged in a persistent fight within the information environment. Each branch of military service within the US Department of Defense are developing concepts to fight within a contested information environment. Recently, the US Air Force established a new warfighting organization focused on Information Warfare (IW) based on a narrow definition that integrates Cyberspace, Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS), Information, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance operations. Within this article, the author sets out on four objectives: first, to differentiate Information Warfare (IW) at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of war; second, to describe offensive and defensive IW considerations for the US Air Force; third, to describe the relationship between tactical IW and support to the Joint Forces Air Component Commander (JFACC); and fourth, to provide initial recommendations regarding the USAF’s re-organization efforts.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Vulnerabilities of Multi-Domain Command and Control (Part 1)

The concept of assured communications enabling an AOC’s continual SA during a peer fight might not be as easy as it sounds.

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Logistics Agility & Resiliency: Training the Supply Chain

The ability for logisticians to continue for being effective in a future fight will require a wholistic approach to understanding the operational environment and how the supply chain enables operational objectives.

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Intelligence for Quantum Age Learning: Data Visualization & Inquiry of the Information Environment

Data visualization solutions for maintaining a learning advantage in a quantum age of technological & information expansion.

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The Unlikely Prospect of Long-Term Sino-Russian Cooperation: Points of Divergence in the Emerging Security Environment

Can Russia & China expand the current military cooperation into a more in-depth partnership or will long-term trends induce shocks into that relationship driving the two nations apart?

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The Tension in the North

Russia’s annexation of Crimea & involvement in Ukraine has increased tension with its Nordic neighbors. In response, Nordic countries have chosen to engage with NATO. Russia views a potential expansion of NATO as threat. How will Russia respond as the Nordic countries & NATO grow closer?

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Preparing Cyberspace Forces for Warfare in the Information Age

Warfare in the information age is rapidly becoming the cornerstone to the JFC’s scheme of maneuver. The AF needs to take a hard look at how cyber forces are organized, trained, and equipped for the future fight.

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Distilling Clarity: Defining Mission Types and Core Activities in Cyberspace

Cyberspace operations lack specified mission types and core activities to meet the Joint Force Commander’s desired outcomes. In order to give maneuverability back to the joint warfighter the DoD must recognize this paradigm shift within cyber and pair core activities with mission types.

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Time to Revisit the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force

After 17 years of combat fighting global terrorism, Congress needs to uphold its constitutional duty and vote on repealing, replacing, or updating the 2001 AUMF.

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How To Digital Warfare: Target Baby Boomers’ Social Media, Digital Ads, and Phishing • Just Like the Russian GRU

The biggest threat to our nation isn’t terrorist, but how we act online. The risky behavior and how we conduct ourselves online present a threat that is much closer to home. Here are a few tips to protect yourself from those threats

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Attention Engineering: What it is, How it is Used, and Why Warfighters Need it

Attention engineering is the product of two recent historical developments: marketing and the internet. Attention engineering is exacerbated by social media and news outlets and has applications in the emerging security environment for influencing adversary decision-making

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