In September 1901, hundreds gathered at the Minnesota State Fair to hear from then Vice President, Theodore Roosevelt. He used the opportunity to discuss the topic of national duties and the inevitability of involvement with foreign adversaries. Roosevelt referred to a widely known adage “speak softly and carry a big stick,” suggesting that only through the ability of the United States to substantiate its claims through action would it continue to see success. Today, the United States’ national interests demand an ability to balance stated political objectives with the physical means and willingness to achieve them.Read more
The Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) community continues to evolve and progress. MDO is, and will be the fundamental enabler for Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) and the way our nation fights future wars. As the maturing community integrates new concepts and processes, Multi-Domain Operators must identify and engrain the valuable lessons along the way. Creating a set of standards to capture feedback and drive improvement is vital for development in any organization. The debrief culture of the US Air Force fighter community, among others, is well known for its direct, highly effective feedback and learning methods. This type of focused feedback is important to the fighter community because the debrief is where the majority of learning takes place. The MDO community would benefit greatly by utilizing this debrief culture as a model from which to develop its own unique culture of consistent, iterative improvement. Because a standard day, or sortie-equivalent, is not yet fully fleshed out for Multi-Domain Operators, the purpose of this paper is to convey the necessity for debriefing lessons learned, and provide best practices in their current form. The ultimate objective is to create a foundation for the MDO community to adapt these practices as the details and nuance of its daily execution become more specific and clear.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
General Jay Raymond discusses space as a warfighting domain and what the historic Falcon Heavy launch means for the militaryRead more
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.Read more
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?Read more
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.Read more
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
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
Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes Editor’s Note: This week we will be republishing a 3-part series focused on the ideaRead more
A German officer compares the NATO planning process with the ACSC Multi-domain approach.Read more
A strategic design framework may be the point of origin for fostering “whole of community” solutions.Read more
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.Read more
As part of our anniversary celebration series, we present the third most read article of 2017.Read more
As part of the OTH anniversary series, this article, by Dr. Jeffrey Reilly, forms a foundation for discussing multi-domain operations.Read more
Sean Atkins, OTH Editor-in-Chief, brings you his 2017 Editor’s Choice article: our interview with Dr. Jon Kimminau on how Big Data and Machine Learning are shaping the future of intelligence and decision making in warfare.Read more
As part of our anniversary celebration series, below we present the second most read article of 2017.Read more
Editor’s Note: As part of our anniversary celebration series, below we present the top read article of 2017. For thoseRead more
To achieve dominance in the networked age, the U.S. Air Force must build organizational expertise that can foster a culture that lives and breathes multi-domain integration.Read more
The military is at a crossroads. Overmatch in firepower and maneuver led to its past successes, but they alone cannot win tomorrow’s wars. The concept of MDB is a method for today’s tactical leaders to change the playing field of tomorrow’s wars.Read more
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.Read more
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
What is the value of keeping information classified?Read more
Utilizing cyberspace as a warfighting domain is still, however, in its infancy. It must evolve similar to how the utilization of the air domain evolved during the 20th century
By Joed Carbonell
AMC C4ISR capability is dependent on deployment and sustainment capabilities provided by multiple organizations using a mixture of classified and unclassified systems. These systems have significant vulnerabilities in regards to operational security and potential cyber attacks.
By Isaiah Oppelaar
Economic globalization, industrial modernization, and the technological revolution have led to the emergence of an element of a nation’s power that underpins them all: energy.
By Mike Benitez, Prichard Keely, and Mark Nexon
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
Integrating low cost near-space balloon technology with cyber, space, air, maritime, and land forces will operationalize near-space and allow the US to retain its asymmetric advantage over future adversaries.
By Brent Cantrell
Multi-domain strategy therefore requires patterns of thought characterized by focus on affecting human cognition, distilling clarity from complex environments, and planning and executing operations within the uncertainty of future conflict.
By Wilford Garvin
During the next two weeks, OTH will offer several articles to discuss the overall mindset and scope of multi-domain operations.Read more
Increasing temperatures and potentially intensifying weather patterns will impact conventional military operations, the broader impacts of climate change on global trends and the human domain pose a far larger dilemma for the American military.Read more
Next week in “Climate Change, Multi-Domain Risk, and the Complexity of Interagency Science Policy” OTH Senior Editor Mark Nexon interviews Dr. April Melvin.Read more
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
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
OTH interviews the US Air Force’s lead on developing multi-domain Command and Control.Read more
A new concept, one the Army in particular is meaningfully exploring, is quickly coming into vogue in the Pentagon. Multi-DomainRead 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
An important lesson airpower’s evolution of thought regarding who is fit to fly aircraft can be applied to the cyberspace operations career field: the uniformed cyberspace operator does not necessarily have to be a computational genius.
By Katrina Schweiker
Reflexive control is a term that has recently surfaced as a description of Russian strategic and operational planning and goals. However, as a concept it has been around for ages. More coming on Monday.Read more
A whole of government approach is lacking and therefore the United States restructure its regional leadership construct .
By Isaiah Oppelaar
The lesson will be learned the hard way if the US does not take action to better synchronize the efforts of government-at-large.Read more
Part 3 of a 3 part interview with Dr. Jon Kimminau on Big Data and Activity Based Intelligence.Read more
Military leaders must anticipate conducting operations in a context of adversaries seeking to slow or paralyze operational tempo by disrupting information and logistical supply chains. Accordingly, the military must create a culture of leadership that provides an antidote to such disruption.
By Peter A. Garretson & Jonathan D. Sawtelle
Part 2 of a 3 part series discussing concepts such as big data analysis and activity based intelligence with Dr. Jon Kimminau.Read more
Part 1 of a 3 part series discussing concepts such as big data analysis and activity based intelligence with Dr. Jon Kimminau.Read more
Design, as a multi-disciplinary concept for normative approaches to human decision-making, emphasizes ‘what is possible’ and ‘how a military ought to function’ rather than a highly descriptive and conforming model (termed positivism) where militaries seek to predict future system behavior through past experiences, reductionism, and mechanistic logic.
By Ben Zweibelson
Founded in concepts and strategy, conflict in an A2/AD environment has yet to bridge the gap to manifest itself in operational art, preventing the Joint Force from converting the idea into tactical tasks and stifling operational agility and coherence in future conflict.
By Maj. Mike “Pako” Benitez