Search Results for: multi domain

Essay Campaign #14: Tactical Decision-Making, Military Psychology, and the Boyd Cycle

Summer Essay Campaign #14: “Tactical Decision-Making – A Military Psychology Perspective on the Boyd Cycle”

To Answer Question #3: “Where are the human cognitive, psychological, physical limits with respect to combat?”

By Major Jason Spitaletta, USMCR

The US Marine Corps’ doctrinal conceptualization of warfare (HQMC, 1997) is inherently psychological and therefore understanding the human cognitive, psychological, and physical limits with respect to combat are essential and identifying these limits should be the sine quo non of military psychology[1].  Combatants must confront chance, uncertainty, friction (Mattis, 2008), volatility (Laurence, 2011), and urgency (Zaccarro et al, 1995) while contending with existential threats.  Combat is a fundamentally uncertain form of competition (Boyd, 1976) where consequential decisions are often based on incomplete, inaccurate, or even contradictory information (HQMC, 1997), and thus decision-making is the principal human factor in warfare (Krulak, 1999).  Boyd’s Observation, Orientation, Decision, Action (OODA) Loop (or Boyd Cycle) is not an answer to the question at hand, but it provides a means of investigating human cognitive, psychological, and physical limits as they relate to tactical decision-making.  Bryant (2006) and Benson & Rotkoff (2011) were correct that Boyd’s model was not the result of psychological theory; however, the OODA Loop can be synthesized with the neural process model of automatic multi-structure controlled social cognition, the X and C systems, (Lieberman et al., 2003) as well as Baddeley’s (2003) working memory model to provide a neuroanatomical and cognitive reference point to the original. The combination of the model and those reference points provides us with an appropriate framework through which to describe and address the question at hand.

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Essay Campaign #9: Cultural Impediments to Negotiating Complex Challenges

Summer Essay Campaign #9: “Cultural Impediments to Negotiating Complex Challenges”

To Answer Question #7: “In what ways does strategic culture influence military operations?”

By Richard Maltz

Our efforts to negotiate complex challenges, to include the ability to establish and exercise a significant capability to operate, compete, and prevail in the Cognitive Domain, are principally constrained, as is everything else that we think, say, and do, by our own culture of productivity (human interaction with the goal of accomplishing shared objectives).  This constraint will be manifested in several ways, at multiple levels.  Salient among these are:

1.  Inertia.  In actively and consciously engaging complex challenges (notably campaigning in the Cognitive Domain), we are challenging our existing habits.  We are habituated to focus on the Physical and Information Domains.  We have staffed our ranks, built our organizations, structured our processes, and refined our culture to focus on these, and to largely ignore the complex, especially in the Cognitive Domain.  Reversing that approach will require defeating tremendous organizational inertia, and transformation of our manning, organizations, processes, and culture.  An undertaking on this scale will be daunting, and will be viewed my many (likely most) as more difficult than it’s worth.  The alternative however is to continue to institutionalize the tremendous waste and opportunity costs imbedded in and emblematic of our existing culture.

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Essay Campaign #3: Big Data and War

Summer Essay Campaign #3: “Big Data and War”

To Answer Question #4: “How does information (Big Data and YouTube) affect the conduct of war?”

By Major Dan Sukman

With the proliferation of modern technology, and the rise of social media sites such as youtube, facebook, instagram and twitter, Soldiers on the modern battlefield will find themselves operating in a persistent information environment.  Essentially, every action on the battlefield has a probability of reaching audiences across the globe in a matter of seconds.  The effects of a persistent operating environment are profound; they will change how both our adversaries operate and how the U.S. joint force operates.

            Adversaries will take advantage of the persistent operating environment by leveraging “big data” to eliminate any possibility of strategic surprise the United States seeks to gain in movement of forces across the globe.  Adversaries will have the capability to link together a wide variety of remote sensing capabilities and develop a much more robust ability for early detection, identification and tracking of U.S. forces.  In essence, adversaries will have the capacity to conduct real-time monitoring and reporting of joint force movements.  Historical advantages of stealth and initiative employed by U.S. commanders will be increasingly difficult to attain.

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Essay Campaign #1: A Constellation of Capabilities

Summer Essay Campaign #1: “Imagining a Constellation of Capabilities which Navigate Toward Strategic Aims”

To Answer Question #9: “What is the proper relationship between militaries and non-governmental organizations (i.e. the United Nations)?”

By Major Dan Maurer

The question posed by the War Council presumes that there is a “proper relationship”—one that is objectively appropriate to the exclusion of (most) others.   In a way, it echoes most American civil-military relations theory, beginning with Huntington’s, which casts military professionals into a definitive master-servant or principal-agent relationship with civilian authority.[1]  But unlike civil-military relations, the dynamic between a military force and NGOs may not be institutionalized, cemented in law and custom.  Rather than a “proper” form,  I argue that there are relatively better or worse constellations of relationships, with their qualitative value depending more on historical and operational context—which most importantly includes the strategic aim—the raison d’ état—for which the military and NGOs are working in concert (or arguing with each other in contempt).

This recasting of the question implicates the purpose for which militaries are used and the ways and means by which they achieve their purposes—sometimes with, sometimes without, the influence, participation, or engagement with domestic or international NGOs.  Of course, scale, strategy, location all matter but by and large our “purpose” is applying military might on land.  Landpower has been defined in Army doctrine as “the ability—by threat, force, or occupation—to gain, sustain, and exploit control over land, resources, and people.”[2]  “Strategic Landpower” is considered the “application of landpower towards achieving overarching national or multinational (alliance or coalition) security objectives and guidance for a given military campaign or operation.”[3] 

But to help address the relationship between Armed Forces and NGOs, it is possible, and desirable, to take a broader view and attempt to generalize these ideas.  When we do this, the menu of potential arrangements between and among military forces and NGOs gets longer and longer, giving policy-makers that many more choices and opportunities in which to apply the right means, in the right ways, for the given end.  For instance, an actor expresses power by influencing, changing, or controlling the behaviors, expectations, resources, or the capacity to volitionally act among other relevant parties and institutions.  This effect of power becomes “strategic” in quality when it materially advances an actor’s freedom of choice and freedom of action, such that (A) the effect is consistent with that actor’s policy objective that originally animated the expression of power, and/or (B) the effect redirects an adversary’s or a competitor’s actual or perceived policy objectives.[4] 

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