Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret. In August 2019 (Note #11), while waiting to see if Iran’s shootdown of a US drone would prompt a counterstrike, I noted the Trump administration’s apparently contradictory policies.
Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen, USAF (ret.) Using concepts of complex warfare from ICSL Papers #13 (East Asia), #14 (China) and #16 (Japan), this paper applies the same holistic approach to Korean security strategies in the information environment, with comparisons to strategies from China and Japan. To discern how the Koreas wage complex warfare through cooperation and confrontation today, we consider world view, threat assessment, and combined effects strategy. Understanding these aspects of the information environment is critical to producing superior effects—the great-results test of any power. Korea’s World View, Threat Assessment, and Combined Effects Strategy World View Both […]
Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen, USAF (ret.) Using concepts of complex warfare from ICSL Papers #13 (East Asia) and #14 (China), this paper applies the same approach to Japanese security strategy, with comparisons to threats and integrated effects from China and Russia.
Will Miller, Major, US Army. State-sponsored cyber attacks against critical infrastructure are increasingly pervasive. Their global presence and effective methods are asymmetric, coercive, and debilitating.
Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF (ret.) 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.
Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret. Complex warfare is a high stakes competition in learning and we are being out-thought.
Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret. In 1983, Project Socrates began as a Reagan initiative to develop technology-driven competitive advantage. At the apparent ending of the Cold War, Bush-41 officials canceled the effort. It’s time to re-unify strategy and technology for our dynamic information environment.
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.
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.
We must also seek solutions that limit the effects of disinformation. This effort starts with leaders recognizing and publishing Russian exploits as they are discovered. Overt exposure of Russian methodology goes a long way in limiting the effectiveness of false narratives. Investigations should identify who is targeted in hacks, why they were chosen as targets, what information has been stolen, and the extent of related penetration.
The question of what and whom to trust applies to all situations because uncertainty is pervasive. In the information environment (IE), the overriding context of trust is that it’s contested. Actors fight for the kind of information and people they need to compete and prevail. Four types of competition become apparent when we consider four contested purposes of strategic and anticipatory analysis:
Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret. As a follow on to The US National Security Strategy Needs Combined Effects, this paper recommends combined-effects thinking applied to the US National Defense Strategy (NDS), too.
Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret. The Trump administration’s apparently contradictory actions this week toward Iran are not contradictory if we look at cooperation and confrontation as a strategy of combined effects.
Jeffrey S. Johnson, Col USAF ret. Since 9/11 intelligence analysis and its shortcomings have been widely discussed. Military Services increased training in critical thinking and structured analytic techniques. The Army and Air Force created Advanced Analysis courses and OUSD(I) created the Information Environment Advanced Analysis course.
Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret. Information-Related Capabilities abound in doctrine-approved professional communities of practice. Unfortunately, doctrine always lags reality.
Ron Machoian, Ph.D., Col USAF ret. Note #8, “Mirror Imaging Iran and the World,” (3 July 2019) brings the sub-field of strategic culture to the forefront of today’s anxious discussion of how best to coerce the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) into cooperation with international norms of state behavior.
Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret. We tend to mirror image our competitors by using clock-world analogies that apply less and less to today’s cloud-world.
Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret. How should the US compete under the restraint of using armed force as a last resort against Iran, an authoritarian pseudo-democratic theocracy that routinely wages complex warfare in ways the US eschews?
Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret. The Iranian regime’s shoot-down of an unmanned, non-stealth, hyper-expensive US reconnaissance aircraft in international airspace today was a highly anticipate-able event.
Thomas A. Drohan, Ph.D., Brig Gen USAF ret. 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.