Métis: Strategic Sense for a Wicked World

Abstract: The U.S. defense community regularly acknowledges changes in the character of modern warfare. These observations are often coupled with a variety of recommendations, such as creating more strategic thinkers and cultivating more agile service cultures. This article highlights the tangled interactions between these two challenges as well as a third: harnessing the power of storytelling. First, stories both reflect and influence an organization’s culture, and are therefore a useful tool for strategic thinkers. Second, when it comes to strategic thinking, the typical descriptions and illustrations used by defense professionals are incomplete and biased. Missing from this list of examples, for instance, is someone from the origins of Western civilization who personified the wisdom to convert “insight into a decisive asymmetry.” This ancient role model not only exemplifies the strategic sense necessary to prepare the joint force’s culture for modern operating environments, but is also closely linked to the third element of this trinity – storytelling.

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Cognitive Electronic Warfare: A Move Towards EMS Maneuver Warfare

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.

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Defense Of The Homeland In A New Age, Part III

Editor’s note: The following article is the third of a three-part series discussing necessary advancements which will best enable the Department of Defense to continue to lead during current and future periods of competition. Part I focused on the history of the current threats, Part II outlined areas of defense and civilian research which must be pursued, and Part III delves into the path forward for cohesive, joint application of technology and research.

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Defense Of The Homeland In A New Age, Part II

Editor’s note: The following article is the second of a three-part series discussing necessary advancements which will best enable the Department of Defense to continue to lead during current and future periods of competition. Part I focused on the history of the current threats, Part II outlines areas of defense and civilian research which must be pursued, and Part III delves into the path forward for cohesive, joint application of technology and research.

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Defense Of The Homeland In A New Age, Part I

Editor’s note: The following article is the first of a three-part series discussing necessary advancements which will best enable the Department of Defense to continue to lead during current and future periods of competition. Part I briefly reviews threats America has faced thru history and those which it currently faces across all domains. Part II outlines areas of defense and civilian research which must be pursued, and Part III delves into the path forward for cohesive, joint application of technology and research.

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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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Artificial Intelligence in the Operational Information Environment: The Need for Proactive Doctrine

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.

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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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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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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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IO EFFECTIVENESS

In the latest installment of our Human Domain series, Louis L. Cook examines Information Operations effectiveness in multi-domain operations through a focused look at the offensive and defensive uses of Operations Security (OPSEC).

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Fighting the Wrong Fight

The US has a problem on her hands, and the emerging answers fail to address the real problem. While military

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Podcast: Interview with CMSgt William C. Markham (Retired)

  Podcast: Interview with CMSgt William C. Markham (Retired)   In a contested environment we will need to become less

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Social Media and the Arab Spring

Social media alone did not create the Arab Spring social movements, but access to it affected achievement of political concessions.

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Information Operations in a Multi-Domain Operations Battlespace

Emphasizing information operations in multi-domain operations elevates multi-domain ops and integrated warfare

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OTH Video PRIMER 1: The Human Domain

OTH’s own, Major Julie Janson, provides a short primer on the Human Domain as the first entry in OTH’s newly developed primer series.

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Multi-Domain Operations Security

OPSEC is one of many information related capabilities that must evolve in the next few years to ensure our military protects its future critical information.

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***OTH Anniversary*** Multi-Domain Thinking and the Human Domain

Today’s editor’s pick was chosen by Julie Janson. In it, Tom Flounders makes a compelling argument that the Human Domain is the decisive domain.

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OTH Podcast 4: Exploring Cognitive Warfare

In OTH’s fourth podcast we examine the concept of cognitive warfare and what it means for the future security environment.

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The Indirect Approach and Human Influence

This is the first installment of our new Human Domain series. In it, Robert M. Schoenhaus discusses the importance of considering human influence when taking an indirect approach to operational planning and introduces the term “social intelligence.”

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Drop Zone: Human Domain Series

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.

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Building on a Firm Foundation: Redesigning the Air Force Assignment System to Improve Readiness

Unlike most industrial-era schools of thought, human beings are not interchangeable cogs in a machine, and this is the basis for modern talent management. Ultimately, readiness is ensuring that Service members are placed in jobs with the right training, equipment, experience, and background to allow for successful mission accomplishment.

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Podcast 2: Relating Gray Zone Conflict & Multi-Domain Operations

Welcome to OTH’s second podcast! For this episode we’ve brought together a group of experts to discuss two topics that have consumed Defense policy and academic conversations over the last few years: Multi-Domain Operations and Gray Zone Conflict.

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Multi-Domain Thinking and the Human Domain

Multi-Domain thinking requires an understanding of the nature of domains and how they interact with each other, while ultimately focusing on affecting participants in order to achieve a lasting outcome understood in the human domain.
By Tom Flounders

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DROP ZONE: The Human Domain

Multiple dilemmas are not merely to place an adversary at risk, but also to force a specific set of decisions by enemy leaders. The US must outmaneuver our adversaries in the human domain.

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Multi-Domain Operations and Strategy in the American Revolution

George Washington’s objective was achieving victory in the human domain, and it proved to be the decisive factor for strategic victory.
By Tom Flounders

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