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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Deepening the Cut: How China’s Genetic Warfare is Affecting International Relations

Gene editing is relatively new territory and is stretching to greater lengths than ever before. What continues to puzzle policymakers and global leaders—despite the expressed benefits—is just how far gene editing experimentation will go. Future developments will ultimately affect the earth’s entire population and international affairs. This article provides a historical context of biological warfare and shifts towards understanding the contemporary dangers of biological-genetic warfare, which are being advanced to dangerous heights by China.

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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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Electromagnetic Pulse Threats to America’s Electric Grid: Counterpoints to Electric Power Research Institute Positions         

Editor’s note: This article is part of a supporting engagement with the Electromagnetic Defense Task Force’s efforts in order to

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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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Avoiding the Early Bird– Innovation in the US Air Force

“The early bird gets the worm. The early worm… gets eaten” – Norm Augustine With support from the highest levels

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Aquisition Policy Podcast Highlights

Podcast Highlights: Unpacking Defense Acquisition Policy the Laird-Packard Way   Editor’s Note: OTH sat down with Brian Fredrickson to discuss how

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Podcast: Unpacking Defense Acquisition Policy the Laird-Packard Way

Lessons learned from the study of David Packard, Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1969 to 1971, may influence present day acquisition policy.

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The Last Days of Putin

Although the US should strive for less confrontational relations with Russia, it may be too late to salvage relations with Putin.

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Russia-US Relationship: A Round Table Discussion

Approximate reading time: 20 minutes Editor’s Note: OTH sat down with three professors from Air University to discuss the Russia-US

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Podcast: Russian Strategy and Russia-US Relations

Three professors from Air University sit down to discuss the Russia-US relationship from a strategy and policy perspective. Welcome to

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Strategic Design: Compiled

This article is an out of cycle publication in order to consolidate three previously published articles on Strategic Design.  The introduction makes the case for a “whole of community” approach to strategy and policy development, and parts I & II present the structural elements of Strategic Design.

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Strategic Design Part II

Strategic design is not a strategy cure all, it is a means by which to go far beyond ill structured brain storming sessions and tactically rigid joint planning.

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Strategic Design Part I

Strategic design is a constructivist model focused on developing schemata to explore complex problem sets involving grand strategy and policy.

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Introduction to Strategic Design

A strategic design framework may be the point of origin for fostering “whole of community” solutions.

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