DCGS Next Generation: Accelerating Change to Deliver Decision Advantage

By Kelly Borukhovich and Tyler Morton Approximate reading time: 11 minutes Abstract: The DCGS Next Generation (DCGS Next Gen) delivers

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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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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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Strategic Rationale for Deep Space Operations

Authors Jefferson, Hans, and Wehrle use historical examples and national security to discuss the importance of deep space exploration and the requirement for advanced propulsion systems.

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OODA Point: The Requirement for an Airman’s Approach to Operational Design (Part II)

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.

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Speed is Life: Why Mach and Maneuverability Dominate in 2030

Next-gen fighters should emphasize speed, maneuverability, and directed energy weapons to preserve US dominance in the air domain.

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Swarm Weapons: Demonstrating a Swarm Intelligent Algorithm for Parallel Attack

Swarming weapon systems are feasible for several different concepts of employment in the future fight.

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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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Power Competition: The Dynamic Evolution of Public Affairs

In the midst of exponential technological advancement, military communicators must also evolve. To better leverage the power of information, the

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Making Ideas Into Reality and the Future of R&D

MIT’s Media Lab produces cutting edge technology by allowing students and faculty to pursue innovative research projects without the burden

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OTH Video: Beyond the Theory – A Framework for Multi-Domain Operations

In the future operating environment, to successfully deter and defeat our adversaries, we must better understand how the domains interact and their basic principles.

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OTH Video Primer 2: Reality of Hypersonic Weapons

Reality of Hypersonic Weapons: Lt Col Anderson explains the basics of hypersonics and implications for this technology for use in the future security environment.

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Defense Acquisition: The System Is Our Battlefield

The acquisition process is built for peacetime and is hindering US ability to rapidly develop and deliver technologies to the warfighter.

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Swarming Intelligence: Concept to Reality

Two decades of swarming optimization research lay the groundwork for the development of physical swarming techniques.

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Application of Autonomy: Swarming Systems Implications for Design, Processes, and Policy of Swarming Weapon Systems

Delivery of swarming systems to the warfighter will not be hindered by the technology development, but rather the processes and procedures in which to implement this technology.

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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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Countering Hypersonic Threats with Directed Energy

In this article, the author presents an argument for a plausible defense for countering hypersonic threats through the use of directed energy.

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***OTH ANNIVERSARY*** FIFTH GENERATION WARFARE AND OTHER MYTHS: CLARIFYING MUDDLED THINKING IN OUR CURRENT DEFENSE DEBATES

This article explores some of the myths one frequently sees as the US DoD attempts to build a force with purpose in the emerging operational environment.

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FIFTH GENERATION WARFARE: EMERGING NAVAL COMBAT CLOUDS

Peter Layton explores how future warfighting concepts and network/combat cloud design are now interdependent – with the actual platform design of more secondary importance. He notes how, in moving to a fifth-generation force, networks and combat clouds are the fundamental building blocks and we need to get them right.

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FIFTH GENERATION WARFARE AND OTHER MYTHS: CLARIFYING MUDDLED THINKING IN OUR CURRENT DEFENSE DEBATES

Much of the debate over future force structure, command and control, and strategy writ large is littered with unexplored assumptions and muddled thinking. This article explores some of the most recent examples of imprecise language, unqualified assumptions, and outright myths one frequently sees as the US Department of Defense attempts to build a ready force that can match lethality and military effectiveness with purpose in the emerging operational environment.

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