Paper #13. Comparative Threats and Integrated Effects: Concepts for Complex Warfare in East Asia. Dr. Thomas A. Drohan, Brig Gen, USAF (ret.).

Complex warfare is a high stakes competition in learning. Warfare today cuts across all domains, subsumed by the information environment. In land, sea, air, space, cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum, information is what creates and influences behavior. Information is as basic as DNA, the blueprint for the replication and construction of life itself (Chapter 1). We upgrade our genetic software by learning. 

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Paper #12. Creating Effective Competitive Advantage: Strategy, Technology and Information. Dr. Thomas A. Drohan, Brig Gen, USAF (ret.).

In 1983, Project Socrates began as an initiative within the Reagan administration to develop technology-driven competitive advantage. By 1990, the effort had been canceled by the Bush-41 administration because it looked like industrial policy. In fact Project Socrates was not an industrial policy but rather an information-age long-term strategy for technology-based planning.

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Paper #11. China’s All-Effects All-Domain Strategy in an All-Encompassing Information Environment. Dr. Thomas A. Drohan, Brig Gen, USAF (ret.).

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.

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Paper #8. Designing Integrated National Defense & Security Strategies. Dr. Thomas A. Drohan, 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) as well. The reason for considering combined effects in the US National Security Strategy (NSS) is to enable consideration of more ends, ways and means than the default method of separately constructed effects.

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Note # 7. Iran’s Shoot-down and a Strategic US Response. Dr. Thomas A. Drohan, 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. One of the challenges we have in trying to think and act strategically is that we regard ourselves as either at peace or at war. Legal authorities and bureaucratic permissions reflect this perception. The reality is that we live in a competitive world of combined effects that blends these two ideal types. Authoritarian states tend to confront and cooperate at the same time. There is no on-off switch of peace or war, or use of force as a last […]

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Note #6. A Response to Paper #4: Situational Awareness, Leadership and Strategy. Dr. Thomas A. Drohan, 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. We can’t seem to mobilize sufficient political will until after big shocks. Reacting too late or with a short-sighted view (even if long-term) is particularly dangerous given the accelerating pace and broadening space of our strategic environment. Complex threats abound. Plenary discussants pointed out US vulnerabilities such as extended supply chains and undefended intellectual property. They called for policy makers to support market innovations, diplomatic adroitness, investments in education and defense-related technologies and competencies. Recognizing the […]

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