Executive Summary: Our previous article on supply chain competition and warfare explained how political, economic, and security issues unleash and restrain strategies of competitive advantage. China is waging all-effects warfare. Meanwhile, democratic states and the US compete with a self-imposed disadvantage: inferior operating strategy at the strategic level of significance. How can we compete and when necessary, wage superior complex warfare in kind?Read more
Executive Summary: In the hands of authoritarian powers, supply chains are systematically weaponized into broad warfare that subsumes democracies’ traditionally narrow military approach. This series analyzes supply chain competition, warfare, and strategy in two parts. Part I discusses fundamentals that set strategic parameters for achieving an “all-effects” advantage: globalization and protectionism; strategies of national security; incentives and risks; and political and technological change. This broad perspective on competition and warfare is necessary to implement the cooperative and confrontational competition prescribed in the US National Security Strategy. Part II identifies decisions and makes recommendations to combine superior “all-effects” using diplomatic, informational, military, economic, and social instruments of power. This integrative perspective is necessary to synergize strategic advantages derived from the US National Defense Strategy and sixteen other national security-related strategies.Read more
In multi-domain operations (MDO), control of the electromagnetic spectrum is of paramount importance. By leveraging machine learning technologies coupled to advanced Electronic Warfare techniques, a key first step will be taken in enabling maneuver warfare within the spectrum.Read more
Communications are an important element of any military operation. A lack of infrastructure and rough terrain have hindered U.S. military operations in Afghanistan (2001-Present) and Iraq (2003-Present). The difficulties encountered in both countries initially led to several different ad hoc solutions for overcoming poor communications. Eventually a long-term solution emerged, known as BACN (Battlefield Airborne Communications Node) with two dedicated platforms, an E-11A and EQ-4B. This article provides new insights on the BACN program and its history, and considers the importance of E-11s providing BACN for future multi-domain warfighting environments. Finally, it encourages new ways of thinking on how to operate in a contested environment, proposing a “BACN-mesh” concept as a way of overcoming such a vulnerability with an adversary jamming the electromagnetic spectrum.Read more
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.Read more
Joint operations doctrine omits the agency of artificial intelligence (AI) in the operational information environment, which is a problem. This commentary discusses why, and recommends effective changes. Key points are as follows. AI is becoming an autonomous cause of unanticipated effects. Humans are not the most effectively intelligent actors in all environments, yet our doctrine draws lessons from the past rather than anticipating emergent futures. Machines currently excel in experience-based learning and can discover relationships in data that we cannot discern. Humans can intuit, deceive, somewhat control, and manufacture and destroy machines. In time, AI will be able to perform those cognitive, informational and physical functions as well. As out-thought becomes out-fought, we need proactive doctrine now.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
Similar to escorting bombers in WWII, AI could be the paradigm shift the Air Force seeks in a 21st Century Fight. However, traditional mindsets have forced the service into a doctrinal rut, preventing the Service from maximizing this critical capability.Read more
A domain is a “Critical macro maneuver space whose access or control is vital to the freedom of action and superiority required by the mission.”Read more
Excerpt: Maneuver from the air domain enabled the ground campaign’s rapid advance during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Approximate reading time: 20Read more
The Air Domain’s utility in maneuver warfare is underappreciated but has great potential if planned and executed correctly.Read more
This year, Over the Horizon will present a series of articles related to the Human Domain to promote conversation about this critical, but often ignored, domain.Read more
It is incumbent upon commanders to develop purposes for subordinate operations first and subsequently build the tasks. The “why” trumps the “how” both in importance and in priority.
By Tom Flounders
How do we need to organize as an Air Force to provide multi-domain capabilities? Second, how do we train our forces so they can provide multi-domain capability? Finally, how are we equipping our forces so they can do it?Read more
The United States Air Force’s definition of airpower is merely a description of all Air Force activities and is incorrect.
By Tom Flounders
Change in the operational environment between now and 2036 requires the Air Force to aggressively develop a vertical and/or short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) tactical airlift platform.
By Matthew Andrews