Battlespace Journal 2022-1

Winter 2022

  • A Whole-of-government Response To The Chinese Belt And Road Initiative
  • Dismantling The Clausewitzian Trinity: How China Is Eroding The Means And Will Of The United States To Punch Back
  • The Counterfire Conundrum: Acceptable Levels Of Risk In Large Scale Combat Operations
  • Winning The Counterland Battle By Enabling Sensor-to-shooter Automation
  • Failing Forward – Disaggregated Command And Control In Strategic Competition

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Aug. 1, 2021

A Whole-of-Government Response to the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative

The U.S. response to China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) might serve as the first—and best—litmus test for how both nations might manage the shifting geostrategic relationship. To achieve its strategic objectives, the U.S. will need to bring to bear the full weight of its instruments of national power. This paper will assess U.S. challenges and opportunities concerning the BRI through a strategic lens consisting of the diplomatic, informational, military, and economic (DIME) instruments of power. It will deliver key decision makers an array of options to consider as the U.S. seeks to address the BRI.

Aug. 31, 2021

Dismantling the Clausewitzian Trinity: How China is Eroding the Means and Will of the United States to Punch Back

Frequently overlooked, China undercuts America’s innovative advantage through the purposeful use of its diaspora in US research labs and universities, which eventually reduces the asymmetries that we can bring to the battlefield. Increasingly, irregular threats and competition below the level of armed conflict thrive in permissive environments—indeed within the homeland, create a multifaceted problem for the US military, and require globally integrated operations to protect the homeland and US interests. Taking all of this into consideration, it seems that China’s strategic aims are not oriented on building its military power, but instead on winning the next great war without a shot fired.

Sept. 30, 2021

The Counterfire Conundrum: Acceptable Levels of Risk in Large Scale Combat Operations

This article seeks to create a broader understanding of the enduring importance of responsive counterfire for ground forces on today's battlefield. Furthermore, it hopes to use the example of counterfire to change joint force attitudes towards risk acceptance as the military looks toward more integrated multi-domain/ all-domain activities in a highly dynamic and lethal environment with strategic implications. Lastly, this article intends to reinforce the mitigation responsibilities of those who accept risk to achieve a greater degree of joint and air-ground integration and promote possible future solutions as well to lessen those burdens.

Nov. 1, 2021

Winning The Counterland Battle By Enabling Sensor-to-shooter Automation

Machine-to-machine communication and automated intelligence reporting provide incremental improvements when used alone. Combining the two techniques significantly shortens a kill-chain. In order to fully harness the existing architectures, databases, datalinks, and communication pathways in the DoD, tactical experts need education on how to leverage new software and computer processing technologies. Once educated, experts from each area of responsibility need to make a concerted effort to sit down together on a regular basis. At the table, educated experts need to work down the joint prioritized target list with a laser focus on shortening each kill-chain. The focus cannot stay on widgets and gadgets to find things faster or track them better. The focus must shift to the specific tactics, techniques, and procedures to move information between the widgets and gadgets comprising the kill-chain.

Dec. 1, 2021

Failing Forward - Disaggregated Command and Control in Strategic Competition

Currently, the Air Force has given lead wing commanders authority to conduct mission-type tactics, but these authorities have yet to be met with upgraded C2 capabilities nor the Airmen to effectively C2 lead wing assets in combat operations. Starting in World War II, the lead maneuver unit of the Air Force became the NAF, and NAF commanders conducted C2 of forces through assigned air operations centers (AOCs). However, AOCs now reside at the Major Command level effectively removing the primary C2 structure from both the NAF and lead wings. It is time for the Air Force to invest both dollars and manpower into rebuilding effective C2 capabilities within lead wings and across distant areas of responsibility (AORs)