Editor’s note: “Multi-Domain Battle” made its first appearance in Army doctrine with the release this month of the updated Field Manual 3-0: Operations and as a draft operational concept, documents that provide insight into how the army sees itself fighting tonight, tomorrow, and in the future. This is the first in a series of articles examining the concept and how it will change the way the US military fights. These days you can’t get through the #NatSec blogosphere without running into Multi-Domain Battle. And just about everyone has a perspective. Some say it is old wine in a...Read More
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Multi-Domain Battle (MDB) has become the flavor of the month. Pushed predominantly by the US Army and Marine Corps, it is the current iteration of various recent attempts to meld the services, the military missions, and the strategic environment into a coherent, all-encompassing concept. Jointness is no longer enough. As repeatedly seen since the end of World War II, however, the United States has a consistent record of losing wars, both on the battlefield, and as policy contests. The US military services’ institutional cultures—what Carl Builder called their “masks of war”—deserve a significant amount of blame for these failures,...Read More
The strategic challenges posed by resurgent global powers have largely escaped the headlines of major news publications. Most citizens do not realize that Russia and China possess the technology capable of denying US forces the ability to operate uncontested in the western Pacific Ocean or eastern Europe. Given that preserving the current rules-based international order is a key security interest of the United States, this issue poses significant problems for the US military. Fortunately, members of the defense community are formulating ways to solve this new challenge. Planners and strategists within the institutional Army are underway developing the much-publicized...Read More
Operationalizing the multi-domain battle concept effectively will require significant changes to the Department of Defense that would likely constitute a second Goldwater-Nichols-style piece of legislation, altering the structure and operations of the defense community. As politically unlikely as it is to be implemented, that shouldn’t stop us from trying.Read More
Ben Buchanan, The Cybersecurity Dilemma: Hacking, Trust and Fear Between Nations (Oxford University Press, 2017) For the sanguine among us, last month’s NATO meetings were a success. President Donald Trump abandoned his formal charge of NATO’s obsolescence and—however belatedly—acknowledged the US commitment to mutual defense. But for many European leaders, Trump’s stint in Brussels did more to confirm anxieties over American disengagement than it did to assuage them. Speaking shortly after the G7 summit in Sicily that immediately followed the NATO meetings, German chancellor Angela Merkel made clear that America’s reliability could no longer be assumed. And the fight for...Read More
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