A hierarchy of effort is essential to achieving meaningful advantage in the information environment (IE). The IE’s diverse contexts are multi-domain and all-effects. Three reforms can improve tactics, operations, and strategy against human and AI competitors: Align the ends of desired cause-and-effect relationships Note: the basic strategy process consists of interactive ends (the why—goals), ways…
The Imperative for Competitive Initiative Democracies need multi-dimensional strategies suited to the highly competitive information and AI age. There are dozens of regional and functional US national strategies, but the overarching one is the US National Security Strategy (NSS). For historically understandable reasons, the NSS focuses on weapons technology as the most effective approach to…
The Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC) “One Country, Two Systems” narrative toward Taiwan out-competes the US “strategic ambiguity” and “one China” policies even though it’s false. How? The narrative operates as a strategy to gain information advantage by propagating meaningful identity in structured content. In short, Narrative = Meaning, Identity, Content, and Structure (Ajit Maan, Dangerous…
China uses narrative warfare as an integral part of diplomatic, informational, military, economic, and social (DIMES) combined effects to seize disputed territories. This Note explains how this strategy is globally propagated, narrated warfare. China’s Narrative Warfare China’s narrative normalizes the ends, ways and means of a strategy that is cooperative and confrontational, physical and psychological,…
We need to rearrange our legacy language of coercion theory to compete in the contemporary information environment.
Net Assessment The purpose of net assessment is to gain an asymmetric advantage over competitors. US goals generally seek technological superiority. The US Office of Net Assessment, in a rare run of leadership continuity (Andy Marshall, 1973-2015), analyzed strategic competitions and recommended offsets against adversary strengths. Some offsets threatened the mutual vulnerability of Mutual Assured…
ICSL Paper #41 developed “concepts of influence,” a critical component to effective strategy. Concepts of influence are the ways and means that act on will and capability to bring about the ends of strategy. They may be entirely human-created or assisted or created by artificial intelligence. This paper applies concepts of influence to show how…
Disinformation is a global threat. Pervasive digitized technology and social media provide rich opportunities to distort public perceptions at scale. Authoritarians assail democracies incessantly. Comparitech recently discovered a Facebook bot farm that controls nearly 14,000 fake accounts and produces 200,000 posts per month.
Authoritarian states are weaponizing supply chains into all-effects warfare while democratic states compete with inferior strategies. We can be more competitive and wage superior complex warfare in kind.
The Mekong Infrastructure Tracker launched today, providing a public platform that creates transparency on nearly 4000 ongoing or planned infrastructure projects in this strategic region.
Supply chains are vital to socio-economic well-being and military success. They have become arenas where authoritarians wage complex warfare while democracies compete with inferior strategies.
Colonel John Boyd’s OODA Loop—Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act— is a powerful model for making decisions in contested environments. Strategic use of information can defeat it. Understanding narrative strategies can protect it.
This Note paraphrases today’s webinar from the Alliance for Security Democracy on Hamilton 2.0, a dashboard on Russian, and now Chinese, disinformation.
Both North Korea and South Korea seek self-reliance and alignments with main powers. From that take-off point, I recommend this basic US strategy toward the Koreas:
Using complex warfare concepts from Papers #13 (East Asia), #14 (China) and #16 (Japan), we apply and compare that holistic approach to Korean security strategies.
Using complex warfare concepts from Papers #13 (East Asia) and #14 (China), we apply that approach to Japanese security strategy, with comparisons to China and Russia.
State-sponsored cyber attacks against critical infrastructure are increasingly pervasive. Their global presence and effective methods are asymmetric, coercive, and debilitating.
This paper uses concepts of complex warfare established in ICSL Paper #13 to analyze the world view, threat assessment, and combined effects strategy of China.
Complex warfare is a high stakes competition in learning and we are being out-thought.
The essence of Chinese strategy consists of waging complex wars that exploit opponents’ expectations of warfare. The operational design creates preventative and causative effects that blend confrontation with cooperation, imposing dilemmas on opponents. Such asymmetric effects win wars via information that changes opponents’ behavior.
Pyongyang’s firing off of two more short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan, and the seizure of the Wise Honest vessel, beg a strategic question.