Showing posts with label Military Matters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Military Matters. Show all posts

25 April 2018

On Seeing America's Wars Whole

By Andrew Bacevich

Congratulations on assuming the reins of this nation’s -- and arguably, the world’s -- most influential publication. It’s the family business, of course, so your appointment to succeed your father doesn’t exactly qualify as a surprise. Even so, the responsibility for guiding the fortunes of a great institution must weigh heavily on you, especially when the media landscape is changing so rapidly and radically. Undoubtedly, you’re already getting plenty of advice on how to run the paper, probably more than you want or need. Still, with your indulgence, I’d like to offer an outsider’s perspective on “the news that’s fit to print.” The famous motto of the Times insists that the paper is committed to publishing “all” such news -- an admirable aspiration even if an impossibility. In practice, what readers like me get on a daily basis is “all the news that Times editors deem worthy of print.”

The Changing Face of the Country


Many Germans feel foreign in their own country and are afraid that immigration is changing their homeland rapidly. Every fifth person in Germany comes from an immigration background and that number will continue to climb. What does that mean for the country? Maike Manz runs her hand across the patient's belly and hopes that the young woman in the hospital bed will at least have an inkling of what she's trying to tell her. "We're going to conduct an ultrasound now and then we will decide how to proceed," the gynecologist says, slowly and as clearly as she can. The pregnant woman is from Guinea-Bissau and has only been living in Germany for the past nine months. She peers on helplessly as the doctor does a miming gesture to try to help her to understand. Adhered to her stomach is the sensor of a CTG device that measures babies' heart rates. She's in her 36th week of pregnancy and is expecting twins. Aside from the word "baby," she hasn't understood anything, because she doesn't speak any German.

Globalization Backlash Paradox


Today, the very countries that have spent 70 years building multilateral institutions and establishing global trade rules are busy undermining them. In this context, the absence of even a whiff of protest against financial integration demands explanation. Most economists wax eloquent about the benefits of “real” global integration – that is, virtually uninhibited cross-border flows of goods, labor, and technology. They are less certain when it comes to global financial integration, especially short-term flows of so-called hot money. Yet today’s anti-globalization backlash is focused largely on real integration – and almost entirely spares its financial counterpart.

The U.S. Should Amend Its Constitution to Reflect the Changing Character of War

Steven Metz

In the horrible days following the 9/11 attacks, America’s full attention was on punishing the culprits and reinforcing its defenses against terrorism. While these tasks clearly had to take priority, the attacks also demonstrated that the United States needed to decide whether its 18th-century Constitution was adequate for national defense in the 21st century. Yet this issue still has yet to receive the consideration that it deserves. Although the United States has poured immense effort, money and blood into the fight against transnational extremism and dramatically augmented homeland security, it has not assessed its constitutional framework for national defense. But there comes a time with any system when repairs, patches and upgrades are not enough. That’s where the United States is today: The security environment and the character of war have changed so much that it is time to seriously consider amending the Constitution.

24 April 2018

Control of the Syrian Airspace: Russian Geopolitical Ambitions and Air Threat Assessment By Can Kasapoglu

Russia has mounted its anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) footprint in the Levant and also boosted the Syrian Arab Air Defense Force’s capabilities. Syrian skies now remain a heavily contested combat airspace and a dangerous flashpoint. Moreover, there is another grave threat to monitor at low altitudes. Throughout the civil war, various non-state armed groups have acquired advanced man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS), which pose a menacing challenge not only to the deployed forces, but also to commercial aviation around the world. In the face of these threats, NATO needs to draw key lessons-learned from the contemporary Russian operational art, and more importantly, to develop a new understanding in order to grasp the emerging reality in Syria. Simply put, control of the Syrian airspace is becoming an extremely crucial issue, and it will be a determining factor for the war-torn country’s future status quo.

What was Boyd Thinking?

Source Link

And when did he think it?

In his own words:

For the interested, a careful examination will reveal that the increasingly abstract discussion surfaces a process of reaching across many perspectives; pulling each and every one apart (analysis), all the while intuitively looking for those parts of the disassembled perspectives which naturally interconnect with one another to form a higher-order, more general elaboration (synthesis) of what is taking place. As a result, the process not only creates the Discourse but it also represents the key to evolve the tactics, strategies, goals, unifying themes, etc., that permit us to actively shape and adapt to the unfolding world we are a part of, live in, and feed upon. Abstract (c. 1987)

23 April 2018

Army Needs to Maintain Momentum on APS Technologies

By Daniel Gouré

A few years ago, the leadership of the U.S. Army, most notably then incoming Chief of Staff General Mark Milley, concluded that their service had lost overmatch vis-à-vis the Russian military. U.S. ground forces deployed in Europe had been reduced to a faint shadow of their former greatness. They lacked heavy armor, combat aviation, long-range fires, short-range air defense and electronic warfare. In addition, historically low rates of investment left the Army without the modernization portfolio needed to regain its erstwhile dominance in maneuver warfare. General Milley instituted a crash program to fill a number of critical capability gaps. Among the bold decisions the Army made was to initiate a rapid program to provide its ground combat vehicles with an active protection system (APS). APS employs a central computer or controller, sensors that provide 360-degree surveillance of the area around a vehicle and launchers for countermeasures.

Army Air & Missile Defense Faces The Future


"If something kicks off, we're the first ones to see it," the sergeants told us. "We're the first ones to react. And you're on the line, they're coming after you." How busy is US Army Air Defense Artillery? “We have been at war for two decades in the ADA community, operating worldwide, and hardly anyone has noticed,” one general told us a few years ago in the Pacific — and that was before the US deployed the THAAD missile defense system to South Korea.

US Military Dominance Requires Better Command-and-Control Tools


Commanders need an AI-infused infrastructure to keep tabs on friendly and hostile forces, suggest actions, and help carry out orders. To maintain its position as the world’s dominant military, the U.S. needs new command-and-control technologies that can fully connect and put to use the capabilities of every asset available, regardless of service or domain. These new tools will need to be quickly upgradeable – often on the fly – and resilient enough so commanders can trust the data as it comes in and goes out to individual platforms and units. Forward-thinking leaders are starting to get serious about this need. In a speech to the Air Force Association’s annual Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida in February, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said, “If we are going to fight and win in wars of cognition, we’ve got to ask a different series of questions before starting an acquisition program on any platform, any sensor or any weapon. Does it connect? Good. Does it share? Better. Does it learn? Perfect.”

22 April 2018

CAAI Blog For the first time, Russia is showcasing unmanned military systems at a military parade

Source Link

On April 18, 2018, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that this year’s military parade in Moscow that commemorates the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in WWII will feature new and advanced weaponry. Specifically, he noted that for the first time ever, “the Uran-9 combat multifunctional robotic system, the Uran-6 multipurpose mine-clearance robotic vehicle and Korsar short-range drones” will be showcased along other land and air weapons.

21 April 2018

A Norm in Crisis: Implications of Persistent Chemical Weapons Use

By Natasha Lander

The recent chlorine attack in Douma, Syria, which reportedly killed over 40 men, women and children, prompted a predictable reaction from the international community. Governments around the world issued statements condemning the attack. The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting in response. Russia dismissed reports of the attack as false and traded insults with the U.S. Doctors scrambled inside Syria to treat those afflicted, while aid workers searched homes to locate more victims. 

Army Service Could Be the Answer to Europe’s Integration Problem

France’s Foreign Legion is the stuff of military legend: a band of mostly foreign men serving the French government essentially as mercenaries — and doing so with extraordinary success. Though the legion was formed in the 19th century to police France’s far-flung dominions, it has evolved into an all-purpose combat force. Indeed, thanks to its dependability in combat, the legion has become so useful that the French government is now significantly expanding it. Other European countries should follow France’s lead. All European Union nations need to do more for the Europe’s security — but their armed forces are struggling to find enough new recruits. The answer may be in plain sight; many of these countries have a growing population of young male immigrants who could be an asset to the military.

20 April 2018

Systems Confrontation and System Destruction Warfare

by Jeffrey Engstrom

How the Chinese People's Liberation Army Seeks to Wage Modern Warfare

Research Questions 
What is the concept of systems confrontation and system destruction warfare in PLA writings? What is the template of the PLA's operational system? What are some examples of task-organized operation system of systems? 

This report reflects an attempt to understand current thinking in the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) regarding system of systems and systems warfare, as well as current methods of warfighting. It also serves as a guidebook to the already substantial number of systems and systems-related concepts that abound in PLA sources. By examining numerous Chinese-language materials, this report (1) explores how the PLA understands systems confrontation and comprehends prosecuting system destruction warfare, (2) identifies the components of the PLA's own operational system by looking at the various potential subsystem components and how they are connected, and (3) examines selected PLA operational systems identified in PLA literature and envisioned by the PLA to prosecute its campaigns, such as the firepower warfare operational system. This report should be of interest to military analysts and scholars of the PLA, policymakers, and anyone else who seeks insight into how the PLA conceptualizes and seeks to wage modern warfare.

Defence Against the ‘Drone’ Arts: Surviving the swarm & an eleventh principle of war

by Greg Rowlands

Scenario 1: A light infantry platoon advances cautiously without tank support[1] along a narrow rubble strewn street in a regional town, recently occupied by an extremist group.[2] Then with no warning a swarm of flying attack drones appears 100 meters forward of the lead rifle section. Each semi-autonomous quad-copter[3] carries a nanoexplosive device, which when detonated acts as an anti-personnel grenade. As two-dozen+ ‘flying nano-grenades’ hurtle towards the rifle platoon, a prescient Section Commander does not hesitate in ordering the rifle section to open fire. The drones are too close to call for indirect fire support, but accurate rifle and machine-gun fire destroys most of them. 

Innovation and the Challenger Mentality

By Kareen Hart



An inherent tension exists in U.S. military culture. Intellectually, military members recognize the need to embrace technological innovation and change to survive in a complex and adaptive environment, yet the military organizational structure favors slow and deliberate development. Bureaucracies prefer stability, because innovative ideas are inherently risky and can create losses if they fail. The safer strategy is to embrace tried and true approaches, which are both easier to defend from an investment standpoint, and comfortable and familiar.[1] Therefore, particularly in an age of fiscal limitations, the military is more apt to invest in proven technologies and to find efficiencies that it is to experiment with innovations. It is hard to accept risk when you are in the lead. So how do strategic innovators resolve this paradox? The answer lies in changing the military mentality.

New Challenges in Cross-Domain Deterrence

This Perspective places deterrence within the broader spectrum of influence strategies available to international actors. It focuses on the domains of space and cyberspace and on two subareas of the land domain of warfare: hybrid warfare and terrorism. Potential in-domain and cross-domain strategies of deterrence by denial or by threat of punishment are suggested for each focus area. The author concludes that establishing effective deterrence against attacks in space and against the use of hybrid warfare tactics are the two most urgent priorities. Legislative action, demonstrative exercises, collective security agreements, retaliatory strikes against opponent systems, and creating a visible ability to hold adversary systems of political control at risk are recommended as remedial steps in the space domain. Enhanced abilities to interdict "troll armies," conduct information operations, identify the national origin of combatants, respond collectively, and deploy military quick reaction forces to neighboring states by prior agreement with them are suggested as remedial steps for hybrid warfare. The Perspective outlines criteria by which to prioritize between strategies of deterrence: denial over punishment, nonescalatory strategies over escalatory ones, and reversible strategies over irreversible ones. Even when limited to deterring terrorism and war with China and Russia, implementing a doctrine of cross-domain deterrence would be complex and would have significant resource implications. Political capital would need to be spent to achieve allied consensus and international political support for the strategy, and agencies stood down at the end of the Cold War might need to be reestablished.

Improving the Understanding of Special Operations

by Linda Robinson, Austin Long, Kimberly Jackson, Rebeca Orrie

How has successful change previously occurred in the U.S. Army, Joint, and U.S. Department of Defense policy regarding SOF? How can these observations inform future development of options for policymakers and to articulate ways in which the varied Army Special Operations Forces capabilities can help to meet U.S. national security objectives? How can future planning and execution by the Army Special Operations Forces, the Army, and the joint operations community be informed by an analysis of past decisions? 

19 April 2018

Two Decades of War Have Eroded the Morale of America’s Troops


If the courage of young men and women in battle truly does depend on the nature and quality of our civic society, we should be very worried. South of Fallujah’s Route Fran were hundreds of insurgents who’d spent months digging trench lines, emplacing roadside bombs, barricading streets, training with their weapons, reading the Koran, and watching videos of suicide bombers to inspire them for the fight to come. North of Route Fran were the roughly 1,000 men of 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, preparing themselves for the assault. Route Fran itself was a wide, four-lane highway. On November 9, 2004, the highway was wet—it’d rained the previous day—and the sky was gray and foreboding.

Pentagon, Intel Agencies Set Up New AI Joint Office


WASHINGTON: The Pentagon will submit a report to Congress this summer outlining plans for a new office to lead the military and intel agencies’ work developing and acquiring artificial intelligence tools, a high priority for the national security wing of the federal government alarmed at the huge leaps China is making in the field. Michael Griffin, the Pentagon’s research and engineering chief, told a crowd at the Hudson Institute on Friday that his office is still hammering out the details, but the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) will tie together the military’s efforts with those of the Intelligence Community, allowing them to combine efforts in a breakneck push to move government’s AI initiatives forward.

Stop Wasting Infantry’s Time: Mattis Task Force


“All too often when we bring things up inside the Beltway, it immediately devolves to material and programs and technology," said Scales. "What we hope comes out of this is not just new machines but new ways of thinking about warfare at the tactical level.” Infantry training at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, La. ARLINGTON: Finding $2.4 billion for new infantry equipment was just the start for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s Close Combat Lethality Task Force. Now they’re taking on the hard part:getting the military to stop wasting the troops’ time.