Supply Chain Competition and All-Effects Warfare: Achieving Strategic Advantage (Part 2 of 2)

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?

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Supply Chain Competition and All-Effects Warfare: Fundamentals of Strategic Advantage (Part 1 of 2)

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.

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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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Do We Still Have a Coalition of the Willing? Reinforcing National Security through Dedicated Cultural Training

The U.S. has been working with collation partners for decades to address matters of global and national security. Alongside over 80 partner nations, the U.S. has accomplished milestones in the Global Fight against ISIS, which would not have been possible without such a combined front. Part of these successes are due to the DoD’s shift a decade ago to incorporate partner nations in our military processes to fuse holistic intelligence for decisionmakers through multiple coalition intelligence cells around the world. As the battlespace continues to shift from years of counterinsurgency to face revisionist powers and rogue states, the personnel identified to fill critical positions that interact with coalition members will determine the successes of future conflicts. This essay will describe some recent advances the US Air Force has made toward improving coalition intelligence operations and recommend ways to improve selection and training programs in the future.

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Communications in Multi-Domain Operations: What Does the BACN Bring?

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.

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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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Connect to Divide: Social Media in 21st Century Warfare

In 21st Century warfare, social media fuels influence through “likes,” “shares,” and “tweets” driving narratives that blur the lines of politics, law, war, peace, elections, and freedom of speech and press, creating an information crisis. The current lack of an adequate United States (US) response to this crisis threatens its democratic institutions and national security. Bolstering this emerging threat are social media platforms rewarding users for engaging as fast thinkers without regard for bias or manipulation that is being exploited by hostile state and non-state actors to create narratives resulting in the decay of truth. Compounding this problem is social media’s ability to transition influence from institutions and governments to the individual. Though social media-enabled information warfare alone may not be decisive in current and future conflicts, nations must prepare to counter its effects across all instruments of national power: diplomatic, information, military, and economic.

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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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Streamlining and Revitalizing the US Hypersonic Weapon Investment Strategy

The current DoD hypersonic weapon investment strategy is untenable over the next three to four years which will widen the capability gap with Russia and China.  The investment strategy needs to be streamlined based on acquisition, test, and fiscal realities to field a hypersonic weapon by 2023.  In order to enable success, the DoD should begin to consolidate the hypersonic weapon efforts to one per service to help alleviate budgets, focus requirements, and reduce competition at test facilities.

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The 21st Century Scramble for Africa

The 2017 National Security Strategy states that the United States is in a great power competition with China and Russia that spans the globe. China and Russia have been actively promoting their national interests in Africa and competing with the United States’ vision for the continent. The following analysis will examine China and Russia’s activities in Africa and explain why the United States should be concerned with their increased influence.

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Great Power Competition in the Western Hemisphere

The 2017 National Security Strategy states that the United States is in great power competition with China and Russia that spans the world. China and Russia do not acknowledge the Monroe Doctrine’s assertion that the Western Hemisphere is the United States’ unchallenged sphere of influence and have been actively promoting their interests in the region. The following analysis will examine China and Russia’s activities in the Western Hemisphere in order to paint a picture of the breadth of influence operations that are being undertaken.

The United States must rebuild relationships with its allies and partners in the Western Hemisphere to mutually safeguard and protect the region. The problem should be framed as a common threat to regional stability and the United States should cooperate with its allies and partners on a peer-to-peer basis. The United States needs to be conscious of its stigma in Latin America as an imperial power that attempts to dictate foreign policy to others. The United States should strive to articulate why it offers the best model for future development and why China and Russia are harmful for the region.

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An Approachable Look at the Human Domain and Why We Should Care

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.

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Post-INF Treaty: Likely US Military Outcomes and Implications

What does a Post-INF world look like for the United States? An ensuing arms race is likely, leveraging new tech to counter Russia and China.

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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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Preparing for the Unpredictable: Accident Management in Great Power Competition

This article identifies the potential of international accidents across domains and identifies factors decision makers must consider before/after an accident.

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Podcast: Future European Security

Two International Officers explain the future state of security in Europe, in light of Brexit, the European Union, and the resurgence of Russia.

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The Unlikely Prospect of Long-Term Sino-Russian Cooperation: Points of Divergence in the Emerging Security Environment

Can Russia & China expand the current military cooperation into a more in-depth partnership or will long-term trends induce shocks into that relationship driving the two nations apart?

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The Tension in the North

Russia’s annexation of Crimea & involvement in Ukraine has increased tension with its Nordic neighbors. In response, Nordic countries have chosen to engage with NATO. Russia views a potential expansion of NATO as threat. How will Russia respond as the Nordic countries & NATO grow closer?

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Countering the NATO Threat: A Look at Russia’s Military Advancements and Challenges to Future Defense (Part 2)

Alarmed by Russia’s invasion into a sovereign nation in 2008 and again in 2014—coupled with a land-grab of the Crimean peninsula, NATO has moved to a heightened alert posture. Part 1 details the Russian build up to 2018 and Part 2 discusses NATO’s response.

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Countering the NATO Threat: A Look at Russia’s Military Advancements and Challenges to Future Defense (Part 1)

Alarmed by Russia’s invasion into a sovereign nation in 2008 and again in 2014—coupled with a land-grab of the Crimean peninsula, NATO has moved to a heightened alert posture. Part 1 details the Russian build up to 2018 and Part 2 discusses NATO’s response

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How To Digital Warfare: Target Baby Boomers’ Social Media, Digital Ads, and Phishing • Just Like the Russian GRU

The biggest threat to our nation isn’t terrorist, but how we act online. The risky behavior and how we conduct ourselves online present a threat that is much closer to home. Here are a few tips to protect yourself from those threats

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Fight Tonight: A Look at the USAF’s Ability to Prevail

The Air Force is ready to deter, and if necessary prevail against a growing near-peer adversary willing to disrupt the international order.

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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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The Future of European Security

This is the text from Tuesday’s European Security podcast. This interview will cover an array of topics, from Brexit and

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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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It’s time to take the human domain seriously. USCYBERCOM is our chance.

USCYBERCOM presents an opportunity to effectively implement human domain forces in a high-threat, resource constrained environment. Estimated Reading Time: 5

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Duelling Algorithms: Using Artificial Intelligence in Warfighting

Examining the dichotomy of AI employment in warfare-“Do things better?” or “Do better things?”-and other implementation challenges.

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21st Century Strategic Deterrence: “Beyond Nuclear”

The U.S. needs to start writing the guidelines for 21st century strategic deterrence, focusing on methods beyond nuclear options.

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Geopolitical Future of the South Caucasus

In the next five to ten years, the South Caucasus region will face a growing increase of Russian influence while witnessing a decrease in Western involvement.

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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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USING HALFORD MACKINDER’S THEORY OF GEOPOLITICS TO EXPLAIN THE RISE OF RUSSIAN NATIONALISM

Russia is using nationalism to regain control over former Soviet Union States, a phenomenon predicted by Halford Mackinder in 1904.

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US-Russia Relations: Implications for the South Caucasus

An Armenian perspective on the dynamics of US–Russia relations and their implications for the South Caucasus.

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Exploring the Russian Perspective with a Former U.S. Defense Attaché to Moscow

Team OTH asks a former U.S. Defense Attaché to Moscow about his experiences and Russia’s perspective on international security.

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