Military Review

Battlefield in the digital age

US Armed Forces: Time to Update Strategies, Concepts, and Doctrines

In the United States, the conceptual and statutory provisions and requirements concerning the construction and use of the Armed Forces in general and their components in particular have been revised. According to the plans of the US command, in the period before 2025, radical changes will take place in the American armed forces that will affect all aspects of their use: planning, organizational structure, technical equipment, education and training, strategy, operational art and tactics, organization of support for military operations, etc.

10 September 2012, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, signed Capstone for the concept of joint operations of the American armed forces. In various sources, joint operations and joint forces have a different Russian translation - joint operations or joint operations and, accordingly, joint forces or joint forces. Therefore, further both translations will be used as synonyms.

This document gives an idea of ​​the prospects for the transformation of armed confrontation in the foreseeable future and updated views on the use of the US Armed Forces.

Leadership Maintenance Tasks

First of all, the American top military leadership emphasizes that the country and the armed forces are at the stage of transformation from a state of a decade war to a new stage. storieswhich is characterized by a security paradox. While the world tends to be more stable, destructive technologies are becoming available to the ever wider ranks of America’s opponents and as a result the world is potentially more dangerous than ever before.

Therefore, new concepts of conducting operations by the US Armed Forces are necessary to solve the problem of the security paradox mentioned. The US military is proposing an approach called globally integrated operations (it is also possible to use the name of the combined operations). Within the framework of this concept, it is intended to use globally common power components that can quickly unite with each other (including the resources of allies) to integrate their capabilities.

Note that the provisions of Capstone Concept for Joint Operations: Joint Force 2020 - the development of approaches outlined in another document - Sustaining US Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense, dedicated to ensuring US global leadership in the military sphere in the XXI century. It is emphasized that these ideas are fundamental in creating joint forces of the 2020 model of the year (Joint Force of 2020).

Americans are beginning to implement new approaches not from scratch. Previous steps in the development of the United States Armed Forces have meant that about 80 percent of the future Joint Force of 2020 is already programmed or exists today. But the highlight of innovation lies in the fact that cardinal changes are expected in two main directions: the remaining 20 percent of the forces and approaches to the use of the Joint Force of 2020 themselves will be significantly changed. It is logical to expect that in this regard, significant innovations will be introduced into the processes of training troops, personnel education, personnel management, etc.

So, Capstone Concept for Joint Operations: Joint Force 2020 (in the U.S. Armed Forces, the following abbreviation for its designation, CCJO) describes potential operational concepts, implementing which United Force-2012 will protect the American people from a wide range of security issues. The goal of the concept is to determine the construction directions of the United Force-2020, which will ensure the implementation of the requirements set forth in the Sustaining US Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense.

Battlefield in the digital ageThe concept provides more detailed views on how forces will be used, including a description of the future operating environment (operating environment), the promotion of new concepts for joint operations, attributes that will determine future forces. Thus, the CCJO aims to create a bridge between the new strategic leadership and subordinate concepts, the force development guide, the development of relevant doctrines, etc.

The CCJO focuses on what is new and unusual in a future strategic setting, recognizing that much of the nature of conflict remains unchanged. War is still seen as a clash of hostile, independent and irreconcilable forces, each of which tries to dominate the other by violence. In this context, it is predicted that the opponents of the United States will continue to seek, find and use the vulnerable sides of the state.

Finally, the Capstone Concept for Joint Operations: 2020 recognizes that military power is only one element of national power. In many cases, strategic success will be possible as a result of effective interaction between the US government, allied governments and their armed forces, as well as non-governmental partners.

The need to maintain global leadership of the United States identifies ten main tasks, fulfilling which Joint Force 2020 will contribute to the protection of US national interests:

participation in the fight against terrorism and the so-called irregular warfare;
- deterrence and repelling aggression;
- design of power (including in the absence of direct access to certain areas for the US Armed Forces);
- fight with weapons mass destruction;
-effective actions in cyberspace and space;
- to maintain safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrence;
-protection of the country's territory and provision of support to civil authorities;
- ensuring a "stabilizing" presence;
- conducting operations against insurgents and ensuring stability;
- carrying out humanitarian operations, operations in the aftermath of natural disasters, etc.

A wide range of security issues

In addition to the continuity of existing security problems, new ones are expected in the foreseeable future. The proliferation of advanced technologies in the global economy means that the armed forces of the so-called second-tier states (that is, non-list of leading countries), as well as non-state actors, can now have weapons available previously only to superpowers. The proliferation of cybernetic and space weapons, precision-guided munitions, ballistic missiles, and the possibility of denying access will provide for opponents of the United States more chances for inflicting devastating losses. These threats reduce the global presence of the US Armed Forces, making them vulnerable to deployment in areas of operation, as well as during the execution of missions. Americans are concerned that their opponents continue to explore asymmetrical methods of confrontation, using advanced technology to increase and exploit the US vulnerability.

A particularly important role in the coming years will be played by space and cyberspace. The place of these areas of confrontation is increasing in the design of military power, and operations in outer space and cyberspace will become both predecessors and an integral part of warfare in the land, sea and air areas. Future US opponents may even decide to attack only in cyberspace, where military networks and critical infrastructure are vulnerable to remote attacks, and such actions are still difficult to trace.

The proliferation of technologies that transform warfare is also a factor in the restructuring of global politics. Social media can be a catalyst for protests in a matter of days. The penetration of mobile technologies, especially in developing countries, will significantly increase the number of people able to access and share information quickly. The wide distribution of personal communication devices with video and photo cameras also allows most of the world to observe the unfolding events in real time, which makes the future activities of the armed forces more sensitive to its perception by the population. The US Armed Forces fully experienced this in Iraq and Afghanistan when hostilities received close media attention.

In this new global political environment, which is characterized by ubiquitous digital networks throughout the world, the flow of capital, material resources, people and information, the geography of threats and crises is becoming increasingly complex. In a world where fragile critical infrastructure is widely connected to the Internet, and sabotage and terrorism can have a profound impact, adversaries can easily escalate any conflict, extending it into the national territory of the United States. In such a world, the size of a given security problem often does not coincide with the existing borders of states or the areas of responsibility of certain command structures. At the same time, there is a transformation of concepts, who is a combatant and what constitutes a battlefield in the digital age.

Taken together, these factors lead to the transformation of a future security environment that will be more unpredictable, complex and potentially dangerous than today. Accelerating the pace of change in many aspects of this future security environment will require greater speed in planning and conducting military operations.

With an increasing number of actors with access to disruptive technologies, the US military is also forced to solve the problem of having a potentially higher degree of uncertainty about how and against whom they will fight. It is impossible to predict with a high degree of confidence when, where and with what purposes the Joint Force 2020 will begin to operate.

Combined forces must also adapt to the country's financial capabilities. While some key areas will continue to receive increased investment, the cumulative effect of reduced defense spending will lead to a certain reduction in capacity, primarily relative to the overall structure of the armed forces.

Thus, the problems arising in this regard are reduced to a question that the US top military leadership poses: how will the future Joint Force 2020, with limited resources, provide the necessary protection for the US national interests from any adversary under the existing conditions of uncertainty, as well as difficult, quickly? changing and increasingly transparent situation in the world?

The answer to this question to a certain extent was the concept of globally integrated operations. It reflects the vision of how the Joint Force 2020 should prepare for action in the security environment in which the US military plans to be in the near future. This environment requires globally located combined forces to quickly combine their capabilities, using their forces and partners in various areas, areas, geographic boundaries and organizational affiliations. These networks will be formed, developed, dissolved and reformed in various forms in time and space with much greater fluidity than the existing forces today.

The Americans emphasize that the Joint Force advantage has always been in their ability to combine unique opportunities to create decisive military forces in specific conditions. The concept of globally integrated operations is aimed at accelerating and expanding the capabilities of the combined forces to perform tasks, becoming the decisive force in a particular situation. In essence, the concept provides for the integration of new capabilities, especially special operations forces, to operate in cyberspace the various components of what we have to do with intelligence (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, abbreviated ISR), combined with new ways of armed confrontation and approaches to implementing partnerships. . It is assumed that these components can lead to a synergistic effect of the application of Joint Force.

Key elements of operations

The US military has identified eight key elements of globally integrated operations (GMOs):

- team mission management (mission command);
- mastering, retaining and using the initiative;
- global mobility;
Flexibility in creating joint forces;
-interaction in all spheres, areas (cross-domain synergy);
-use of flexible and unobtrusive features;
-increased recognition to reduce undesirable consequences.

Globally integrated operations require a commitment to a team approach to the mission. This approach gives officials the freedom to choose the possible ways and means of performing the assigned tasks. First of all, this should allow maximum use of the human factor in joint operations, bringing to the forefront trust, willpower, intuitive judgment and creativity. This ethic of decentralization gives subordinate leaders the freedom to advance the intentions of their senior commander through the most effective means at their disposal. The new generation of digital technology allows you to implement a team approach at a high quality level. The development of networks capable of simultaneously integrating closed and open communication lines will expand the range of actors who can participate and support this operation, facilitate the implementation of new ideas and experiences in real time. Thus, future mission leadership will become joint, as senior and subordinate commanders will be included in the feedback loop, initiative, adaptability, and mission effectiveness.

GMOs should provide an opportunity to capture, retain and use the initiative. Managing the pace of operations is a key element in retaining military superiority. Guided missionary leadership built on team philosophy, leaders developing the ability to understand the environment, visualize operational decisions, and provide crucial direction will be essential to the success of a mission.

Globally integrated operations are based on global mobility. Increasing the speed with which events develop, implies an emphasis on quick and adaptive responses. To achieve this, globally integrated combined forces can use opportunities such as cyber and global strikes to quickly project their combat power. In addition, rational positioning of forces, as well as greater use of reserves for deployment and fast expeditionary bases will increase overall operational reach.

GMOs suggest a partnership bid. This makes it possible to better use the experience and resources that are outside the US armed forces to perform various operational tasks. Americans are clearly aware that the complexity of the security problems of the future almost always requires more than is available for this military tools as part of national power. Joint forces must be able to effectively integrate with US government agencies, military partners, local and regional stakeholders.

Globally integrated operations provide greater flexibility in creating and applying combined forces. In the coming years, the future combined forces will be more organized to address specific security problems. An example of this is the command of the US Armed Forces MTR, which synchronizes the conduct of counter-terrorism operations today. Geography remains the logical basis for organizing collective security events in specific geographic areas.

Future joint forces for closer integration will improve the level of their interaction and ability to act in various fields. The US military retains unique advantages in any field or sphere of armed confrontation. Their ability to project power through different areas and areas can provide them with a decisive advantage in the future.

Flexible, subtle or compact opportunities for action in cyberspace, space, conducting special operations, delivering global attacks, conducting intelligence (ISR) will play a more pronounced role in the upcoming joint operations. It is believed that these capabilities are unique sources of American military advantage. While they have become more significant in recent years, the US military used them as a supplement, and not as an integral part of joint operations. In the future, their fuller integration will continue to strengthen the combat power of the US Armed Forces.

Joint operations will become more open to minimize undesirable consequences. Increasing transparency in a security environment in which digital devices will become ubiquitous exacerbates the need for forces to be used exactly when it is possible. However, hostilities will not consist of only minimal cases of violence with surgical precision. The victory over the enemy usually requires great physical destruction. In the saturated information environment of tomorrow, even minor blunders in fire damage can seriously damage the international reputation of the United States.

Combined application of the above eight positions in globally integrated operations, which will use the current and future sources of the US military advantage, can ensure their success.

Possible consequences

It is possible to predict some of the consequences of the above innovations for the United Force-2020. They are:

-implementation at all levels of the system of joint training of military personnel;
-the development of new command and control technologies, including those based on the use of new high-tech devices that provide command and control, primarily in the direction of increasing situational awareness;
- strengthening the ability to act in a changing and even deteriorating situation, including in the conditions of enemy actions in cyberspace and against space systems;
-constructing optimal relations in the management system between all its subjects, taking into account specific threats in the future;
- achievement of internal and external compatibility;
-maintaining and increasing integration between traditional ground forces and special operations forces;
-developing analytical capabilities that will be adequate to a wider range of threats;
-improving the ability to save, analyze and use large amounts of data;
- ensuring coordination of fire support;
-improving access to selected areas (regions) under counter conditions;
-developing rapid deployment capabilities on a global scale;
-development of opportunities for in-depth study of the characteristics of regions (areas) of likely actions, their integration and use in their own interests;
-improving strategic and operational mobility;
-improving tactical maneuverability;
- standardization of tactics, methods and procedures that facilitate the movement and use of forces;
-improving the possibility of defense in cyberspace;
-the continuation of the improvement of cyberspace defenses;
integration of missile defense systems;
- implementation of joint logistics events;
-reduction of operational energy needs and the development of alternative energy sources;
-improving coordination with US government agencies and partners with whom to work together.

In this case, there are some problems that may appear in connection with the adoption of a new concept. In particular, the leadership of the US Armed Forces notes that this carries the following potential risks:

- not all necessary communications will be available;
- partners may not want to integrate or be unable to do so;
- an excessive focus on decentralization can lead to a lack of coordination and inefficient use of limited resources;
- Armed forces may not achieve the required level of global flexibility and mobility;
Standardization can lead to a reduction in diversity, flexibility, versatility and ultimately efficiency;
- elimination of redundancy presumably leads to operational risks;
-accent on organizational flexibility will limit the effectiveness of the use of forces.

Future US “Combined Forces-2020” will face a more complex, uncertain, competitive, rapidly changing and transparent operating environment. Conflicts may arise with other states or with more powerful non-state actors of international relations who have access to modern weapons. The strength of any associations is traditionally considered in combination with the unique capabilities of their components in a single operational whole, which ensures the achievement of the required efficiency and synergistic effect of the application.
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  1. AVV
    AVV 6 March 2014 11: 12
    And the Wishlist in their pipe will not collapse with such external and internal debts, the deficit of the military budget ???
  2. Mikhail3
    Mikhail3 6 March 2014 13: 31
    Great ideas! And it will all work like this. There is a wild, barbaric country in which a "global threat" to American dominance has emerged. For example, such a country is Russia. Let's start. With the help of smartphones, carefully purchased and actively exploited by millions of desperately needy people, and millions of computers courtesy of the Internet, all this cyber command receives petabytes of threat data.
    Let's show the declared flexibility and stealth - look, here water supply networks are controlled via the network! And the water supply networks no longer supply water to the territory. Flexible, discreet and highly destructive. It also makes sense to take control of cameras "safe city", etc. and so on, the idea, I hope, is clear.
    Next, the most delicious. Cooperation! As well as a reduction in US spending, do not forget this for a second! In general, there was material about some kind of Herr Colonel who complained that he was commanded by some people in Afghanistan, seemingly from the CIA, whom he did not know, and who invariably threw his people into the fire. It’s all yesterday.
    Now, orders will be sent to you directly on the tactical tablet, with all the details of your command. Only no Germans will have any relation to these orders. These will be the orders of the Americans. You, herr, will understand the special buzz when these orders from the planet evaporate, and it turns out that you shot on your own initiative! Because, as you have no clumsy order written on paper, you have no witnesses, and the Americans are very flexible ...
    Such a picture in general, everyone can complement it, since it’s not difficult. I’ll only add that I saw an interview with the guy who developed the application this week. This application searches the device’s network. Not computers, smarts, etc. namely the device. Refrigerators, kettles with Internet access, other jokes ... there was one such nuclear power plant. Well, he said that alone. And the guy openly says - I supposedly joked, but now my main customer is the military. And he was sad that Russia was almost invisible to him. So far, we have not enough rabid clever people for his clients. So it would continue ...
  3. Vita_vko
    Vita_vko 7 March 2014 21: 03
    A fully anticipated concept after C4I and network centrism. But the main problem is that a huge flow of information, even after preliminary filtering, needs to be processed, and for this we need thousands of analysts who will be able to evaluate the importance and reliability by indirect signs. A computer can never cope with this.
    For example, now in the USA thousands of people from cyber command are involved, who are trying to extract important information from the Ukrainian stream and somehow manipulate it.
    This is really a paradox! We are talking about computerization and automation, but in fact, more and more people are required and their qualifications should be higher and higher.
  4. SlavaUkraini
    SlavaUkraini April 6 2014 20: 44
    I hope the United States will be able to implement all these doctrines.