As the United States pulls ISR assets from Afghanistan and shifts its focus to the Pacific, some will argue for the same failed ISR strategies that CENTCOM followed for over a decade. Like the build bigger roads argument for solving traffic, there will be a desire in INDOPACOM to throw more and more ISR assets into the theater to solve intelligence gaps. This paper highlights why this line of reasoning is flawed and offers a way ahead for INDOPACOM ISR mission planners.Read more
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.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
Editor’s Note: This is one of our favorite articles we wanted to re-post to keep the conversation moving. We willRead more
Leaders must purposefully plan how they will engage and conduct business within their own distributed organization by defining each team’sRead more
As part of our anniversary celebration series, below we present the second most read article of 2017.Read more
This article on Mission Command looks at how contested domains will force subordinate leaders to make timely decisions that either seize or forfeit the initiative.Read more
As the future battlefield continues to be debated, a topic of conversation is the role of Mission Command in Multi-Domain Battle.Read more
The calculus for US basing options has changed. The dispersed basing concept, combined with hardening and other solutions, offers the US the ability to survive and project power towards peacetime credibility and commitment, while also providing capacity to execute effective multi-domain operations in conflict. The United States must implement access-enhancing measures now to optimize—and maintain—its power-projection capability in the not-so-distant future.
By Aaron Sick
Next week, OTH looks at multi-domain command and control as well as how energy can be leverage as an instrument of national power.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
The Future of Mission Command: “We conceived a system in the 1990’s that is based on 1980’s technology. There is a groundswell of folks that are saying we need a new approach.”Read more
Our Services need to mature and lead the drive to Jointness, both across the DOD and the complex American alliance systemRead more
OTH interviews the US Air Force’s lead on developing multi-domain Command and Control.Read more
Centralized Control, Decentralized Execution remains as a central tenet for how the Air Force organizes to successfully employ airpower. But we cannot assume that the single theater COMAFFOR directly executing C2 over fielded forces without active participation by subordinate echelons will remain viable in the face of a near peer competitor.
By Brian McLean
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
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