Paper #46. A Profession of Effects for the Age of AI: Competitive Strategy and Russian Examples

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Cyber, Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

If democracies are to compete with savvy authoritarians, we need to up our game in the artificial intelligence (AI) information environment (IE), where out-thought is outfought. Beyond a profession of arms with all-domain military strategy, we need a profession that integrates all effects. Such a profession of effects begins with strategy. Competitive Strategy In an…

Paper #45. AI-assisted Psychological Strategies: Human-directed Critical Thinking to Disarm Theocratic Strategy

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Cyber, Leadership, Middle East & North Africa, Security, Strategy
  • No Comments

This article completes our series on AI-assisted strategy, but with a stronger emphasis on combined effects. I use the language of combined effects strategy. Combined effects strategy is a broader alternative to the prevailing paradigm of combined arms that dominates failed US security strategy. Unlike papers #42 and #43 that focused on either cooperative or…

Paper #44. China’s Belt and Road Initiative as Combined-Effects Strategy: How Democracies Can Compete

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Asia-Pacific, Leadership, Security, Strategy
  • No Comments

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…

Paper #43. AI-assisted Confrontational-Physical Strategies: Human-directed Savant X Seeker

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Commercial, Cyber, Leadership, Security, Strategy
  • No Comments

Continuing our march through the eight basic combinations of strategy introduced in Paper #39 (The Strategy Cuboid), we focus on confrontational-physical competitions (preventive and causative). We‘ll use Savant X Seeker’s hyper-dimensional relationship analysis as a research assistant.  The text corpus continues to expand as I add more curated reports and articles. The sample, however, is…

Paper #41. Concepts of Influence: Critical to Strategy and Human Control of Artificial Intelligence

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Cyber, Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

Strategy for dynamic end-states must be multi-dimensional to be competitive in the information environment (ICSL Note #22). If operations are not informing and influencing, they become existential rather than instrumental. They justify themselves, which makes for poor strategy. Yet strategy is the competition that matters most for relevant operations. As we consider the three basic…

Note #22. Multi-Dimensional Strategy for Dynamic End-States: A Realistic Framework, An Application from China, and Recommendations for Strategists

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

There is nothing static about an “end-state“ because it’s defined in terms of conditions, which are always changing. Strategy needs to be multi-dimensional to achieve, maintain and adjust an end-state vis a vis competitors trying to do the same. Multiple Dimensions Competitive strategy integrates ways and means to achieve ends in conditional end-states. If we look at…

Paper #40. How to Expand our Truncated “Operational” Approach to Warfare: Integrate Information as Operations

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Cyber, Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

Information is foundational to competitive strategy because it permeates technology and cognition in all dimensions. We need to integrate information as operations to win all-effects warfare.  The Problem Current joint military planning focuses on ways and means in the operational environment for integrating with other national instruments of power.[1] In the Information Age, this wins kinetic engagements but…

Paper #39. Information Intelligence & Assessment for All-Effects Warfare: A Competition that Subsumes Combined Arms & Deterrence

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Leadership, Security, Strategy
  • No Comments

Our previous paper offered an assessable definition of “information“ to address two persistent problems in US security strategy: (1) the mismatch between narrow military doctrine and its broad effects; and (2) a “competition continuum“ below armed conflict. Why does this matter? The Information Environment is expansive, accessible and dynamic, characteristics that enable competitors to exploit…

Paper #38. What “Talk-Fight” Ideologues Understand About Warfare: All-Domain, All-Effects in the Information Environment.

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Leadership, Security, Strategy
  • No Comments

Prevailing in an operational environment does not matter if one loses in the information environment. Vietnam Workers Party nationalists understood this. Taliban religious fundamentalists understand this. Why do we not, and what to do about it?

Note #17. Information is not Knowledge; we need Intelligence

  • TD
  • Americas, Leadership
  • No Comments

Minds marinated in social media become unarmed targets of weaponized information, hate, and deception. On this 19th commemoration of our 9/11 heroes, it’s critically appropriate to emphasize the need for apolitical intelligence.

Paper #30. Assessment & Combined Effects Strategy: COVID-19 and the Next Bio-Threat

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

As we watch the media count COVID-19 death rates, it reminds me of the ”body count“ metric during the Vietnam War.

Note #14. Machine-learning a Video: “The Corona Virus and the Impact on the Global Supply Chain”

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Commercial, Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

This Note uses critical thinking to analyze complex linkages in a YouTube video from the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics: The Corona Virus and the Impact on the Global Supply Chain.

Paper #21. Informatizing Operations: The Other Half of All-Domain Warfare

  • Michael D. Phillips, Col USAF ret. & Thomas A. Drohan, Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Cyber, Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

Warfare has become all-domain, all-effects, and all-information. This reality is thriving in a comfort zone outside our entrenched concept of a “threshold of armed conflict.”

Paper #20. Competing with Analog Weapons in a Digital Arena? How to Gain Advantage

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Commercial, Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

Let’s explore how to gain advantages by comparing analog and digital characteristics of the Information Environment (IE).

Paper #19. From Jargon to Jointness: Understanding the Information Environment and its Terminology

  • Robert S. Ehlers, Jr., Ph.D., Col USAF ret. & Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

The Department of Defense (DoD) spends much time and effort trying to make sense of the Information Environment (IE). This effort is not new.

Paper #18. Artificial Intelligence & the Need for Proactive Doctrine

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

US Joint Operations doctrine about the Operational Environment (OE) omits the agency of artificial intelligence (AI). How is this a problem?

Note #13. Waiting to Win & Being Proactive

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

Waiting to retaliate against use of force is a losing strategy by itself. The problem is, reacting to attacks fits prevailing outdated expectations of warfare.

Paper #15. Countering Cyber Attacks on Infrastructure

  • Will Miller, Major, US Army
  • Americas, Asia-Pacific, Commercial, Cyber, Eurasia, Leadership, Middle East & North Africa, Strategy
  • No Comments

State-sponsored cyber attacks against critical infrastructure are increasingly pervasive. Their global presence and effective methods are asymmetric, coercive, and debilitating. 

Paper #12. Time to Recreate Effective Competitive Advantage: Strategy, Technology and Information

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Commercial, Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

In 1983, Project Socrates began as a Reagan initiative to develop technology-driven competitive advantage. Then it ended.

Note #12. We Need More than Kinetic Effects: Globally Integrated Operations in the Information Environment

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

We are well into complex, hybrid, grey zone warfare that dynamically blends confrontation with competition. Victory in the form of relative advantages tends to be temporary, requiring a systematic yet supple all-domains all-effects approach. We have to be able to produce all of types of effects and in superior combinations to compete against other relatively-great powers.

Paper #8. How to Integrate National Defense & Security Strategies: A Detailed Analysis

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Americas, Commercial, Leadership, Security, Strategy
  • No Comments

As a detailed follow-on to The US National Security Strategy Needs Combined Effects, this paper integrates combined effects with the US National Defense Strategy (NDS), too.

Paper # 7. Intelligence Analytic Insufficiency: Fixing the Cognitive Problem

  • Michael D. Phillips, Col USAF ret.
  • Americas, Leadership, Security, Strategy
  • No Comments

In response to chronic shortcomings, the President, Congress, and senior leaders of our intelligence agencies and service components demand original, prescient and accurate analyses.

Paper #6. Advanced Analysis is a Mindset

  • Jeffrey S. Johnson, Col USAF ret.
  • Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

Since 9/11 intelligence analysis and its shortcomings have been widely discussed. What has been done?

Note #10. Information-Related Capabilities & Information-Related Effects

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

Information-Related Capabilities abound in doctrine-approved professional communities of practice. All the while, historically-derived doctrine lags reality.

Note #6. A Response to Paper #4: Situational Awareness, Leadership and Strategy

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

The first plenary of the US National Defense University’s Asia Policy Assembly today noted the tendency of US grand strategy to react to threats.

Note #4. Planning to Win

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

Winning is not a static end-state. It’s a continuous process of gaining and maintaining advantage through combinations of effects.

Paper #3. Defeating Authoritarian Warfare: The Case of Russia

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Eurasia, Leadership, Security, Strategy
  • No Comments

While teaching sense-making in the information environment, I began to apply previous work on complex warfare strategy in East Asia to other regions. Russia is a critical case — a declining nuclear power using combinations of effects to regain a perceived loss of prestige.

Paper #2. The US National Security Strategy Needs Combined Effects

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Americas, Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

Strategic leaders blend theoretical and applied thinking to realize goals.

Note #2. Strategy Leadership: Rearranging Ends, Ways and Means

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

Operations are difficult and dangerous, but too easy. It’s too easy to get distracted from thinking about how to lead strategic operations. Let’s focus on two fundamentals of strategy.

Note #1. Theoretical Thinking is Applied Critical Thinking

  • Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret.
  • Leadership, Strategy
  • No Comments

Winning complex competition and warfare requires both theoretical and applied thinking.