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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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. In the Information Age, this wins kinetic engagements but…
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…
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.
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.
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.”
Let’s explore how to gain advantages by comparing analog and digital characteristics of the Information Environment (IE).
The Department of Defense (DoD) spends much time and effort trying to make sense of the Information Environment (IE). This effort is not new.
US Joint Operations doctrine about the Operational Environment (OE) omits the agency of artificial intelligence (AI). How is this a problem?
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.
State-sponsored cyber attacks against critical infrastructure are increasingly pervasive. Their global presence and effective methods are asymmetric, coercive, and debilitating.
In 1983, Project Socrates began as a Reagan initiative to develop technology-driven competitive advantage. Then it ended.
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.
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.
In response to chronic shortcomings, the President, Congress, and senior leaders of our intelligence agencies and service components demand original, prescient and accurate analyses.
Since 9/11 intelligence analysis and its shortcomings have been widely discussed. What has been done?
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.
Winning is not a static end-state. It’s a continuous process of gaining and maintaining advantage through combinations of effects.
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.
Strategic leaders blend theoretical and applied thinking to realize goals.
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.
Winning complex competition and warfare requires both theoretical and applied thinking.