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Chapter 10


The defense strategy’s fundamental challenge is to ensure that the Department of Defense can effectively shape the international security environment and respond to the full range of military challenges both today and into the indefinite future. Timely efforts to prepare now for an uncertain future are essential to meeting that challenge. Accordingly, DoD has established a transformation strategy to meet the challenges of the 21st century. This strategy has three main components: exploiting the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), pursuing a selective modernization effort, and exploiting the Revolution in Business Affairs (RBA).


In pursuit of the RMA, the Department’s goal is to develop options for bringing about fundamental change in the capabilities of the armed forces, including new doctrines, operational concepts, and organizational structures. This transformation approach includes dynamic concept development and experimentation conducted by the Services and the United States Atlantic Command (USACOM). Similarly, DoD’s Science and Technology Program explores advances in key technologies that may be combined with new operational concepts to significantly increase warfighting and support capabilities. The Department is also developing programs to enhance compatibility among more modern and effective U.S. joint forces and those of U.S. allies and likely coalition partners.

Concurrently, the Department is selectively modernizing its capabilities to replace aging weapons systems and support equipment. Many weapons systems and platforms purchased in the 1970s and 1980s will reach the end of their useful lives over the next decade or so. Sustained, adequate spending on the modernization of U.S. forces is essential to ensuring that tomorrow’s forces continue to dominate across the full spectrum of military operations.

Finally, to provide additional resources to fund this transformation and modernization and to create greater efficiencies in the business of defense, the Department has embarked upon a comprehensive approach to adopting modern business practices, pursuing commercial alternatives, consolidating redundant functions, and streamlining organizations while reducing excess infrastructure—the so-called revolution in business affairs. Using the 1997 Defense Reform Initiative Report as a strategic blueprint, this effort will reduce the Department’s overhead and apply the resulting savings to enhance modernization efforts.

Through these coordinated processes—exploiting the RMA, pursuing selective modernization, and exploiting the RBA—the Department’s Transformation Strategy aims to produce revolutionary increases in joint force effectiveness to ensure U.S. military preeminence well into the 21st century.


A Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) occurs when a nation’s military seizes an opportunity to transform its strategy, military doctrine, training, education, organization, equipment, operations, and tactics to achieve decisive military results in fundamentally new ways. History offers several such examples: the revolutionary French Republic’s levee en masse; the development of the blitzkrieg by the German Air Force and Army; and extensive, sustained, open ocean maritime operations developed by the U.S. Navy. In all of these examples, the underlying technologies which made these revolutions possible were readily available to many countries. But in each case, only one country transformed the essential elements of its armed forces in such a manner as to achieve a dominant and decisive advantage in warfare.

The dawning of the Information Age has given rise to a new RMA sparked by leap-ahead advances in information technologies and information processing capabilities. The United States has led and maintains a significant advantage in the development of information- based technologies. This advantage is well grounded in U.S. military capabilities. The roots of the U.S. military’s information-based RMA have been decades in the making, including the development and application of precision-guided munitions, the Global Positioning System, and air- and space-based sensors. Yet, this rapid evolution in capabilities has not yet fundamentally transformed the essential elements of U.S. forces necessary for the full realization of an RMA.

As information-based technologies and capabilities continue to mature, they have become much less expensive, and by their very nature, can be rapidly incorporated by other military forces to enhance their capabilities. Just as in the past, the underlying information- based technologies upon which the next RMA will be based are becoming readily available to the military forces of many nations. This underscores the imperative for the Department of Defense to develop a robust transformation strategy and mechanism to bring about the changes needed in the military’s essential elements—strategy, doctrine, training, organization, equipment, operations, tactics, and leadership—to meet the challenges of the 21st century and achieve the next RMA.

There is, however, no definitive answer as to how the U.S. military should take advantage of the information revolution and its attendant potential to realize a genuine RMA. Rather, it requires extensive experimentation both to understand the potential contributions of emerging technologies and to develop innovative operational concepts to harness these new technologies. History has shown that most large, well-established institutions do not respond well to revolutionary concepts and ideas. Hence, it is clear that experimentation is central to the Department’s exploration and exploitation of the RMA. This recognition of experimentation’s key role in the discovery and implementation of revolutionary concepts and capabilities led to the appointment of USACOM as the executive agent, supported, and supporting commander for joint concept development and experimentation. USACOM will provide the centralized coordination and unifying commander’s intent to focus, synchronize, and integrate the decentralized execution of joint experimentation throughout the Department of Defense.

While exploiting the Revolution in Military Affairs is only one aspect of the Department’s transformation strategy, it is a crucial one. The refinement and expansion of the current RMA provide the Department with a unique opportunity to transform the way in which it conducts the full range of military operations. Chapters 11 and 12 of this report describe DoD’s efforts to vigorously pursue innovation and the RMA. This section of the annual report fulfills the Secretary of Defense’s requirement to provide the Senate Committee on Armed Services and the House of Representatives Committee on National Security a report on emerging operational concepts.


Information Superiority

Information superiority consists of the integration of offensive and defensive information operations; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and other information-related activities that provide timely, accurate and relevant information; and command, control, communications, and computers activities that leverage friendly information systems. Improved intelligence collection and assessment, as well as modern information processing and command and control capabilities, are at the heart of the current RMA. With the support of an advanced common command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) backbone, the United States will be able to respond rapidly to any conflict; joint forces will achieve a state of information superiority, in near real-time, that will be pervasive across the full spectrum of military operations, enabling the joint force commander to dominate any situation. Day-to-day operations will be optimized with accurate, timely, and secure battlespace awareness. Vital to battlespace awareness is the synergistic effect of direct national-level intelligence support combined with the organic assets of the joint force commander. The primary means of this support is via National Intelligence Support Teams, which provide analytic and operational support and communications connectivity. Just as much of the private sector worldwide has become increasingly interconnected through the growth of internetted communications, DoD is developing a complementary, secure, open C4ISR network architecture that will facilitate the development of revolutionary capabilities.

The six principal components of the evolving C4ISR architecture for 2010 and beyond are:

· A robust multisensor information grid providing dominant awareness of the battlespace.

· A joint communications grid with adequate capacity, resilience, and network management capabilities to rapidly pass relevant information to commanders and forces and to provide for their communications requirements.

· Advanced command and control processes that allow employment and sustainment of globally deployed forces faster and more flexibly than those of potential adversaries.

· A sensor-to-shooter grid to enable distributed joint forces to engage in coordinated targeting, cooperative engagement, integrated air defense, and rapid battle damage assessment and dynamic follow-up strikes.

· An information defense capability to protect the globally distributed sensors, communications, and processing networks from interference or exploitation by an adversary.

· An information operations capability to penetrate, manipulate, or deny an adversary’s battlespace awareness or unimpeded use of his own forces.

Technological Innovation

Other advanced technologies in addition to those directly related to information superiority can also serve as important enablers to improved capabilities. The marriage of advanced technology and new operational concepts can occur in two distinct yet equally valuable ways. First, a new concept to accomplish a critical operational task may emerge that requires the development and exploitation of a new technology, creating a requirements pull. Some examples of requirements pull, where new technologies were pursued specifically to improve military capabilities, include increased performance for aircraft, night operations, ballistic missile defense, and carrier aviation. Second, a promising new technology may spur the development of new or upgraded weapon system and operational concept to employ it effectively for one or more tasks, creating a technology push. Examples of technology push include stealth and the applications of global positioning to navigation for precision munitions. Mature combinations of innovative operational concepts and weapon systems employing advanced technologies result in new military doctrine and organizational reconfigurations that have the potential to transform the military at its core, fundamentally altering the way U.S. forces conduct the full range of military operations.


Joint Vision 2010 provides a conceptually-based framework for the development of an RMA across all elements of the armed forces. It focuses and channels the entire Department’s innovation, energy, and resources towards a single long-term goal. The vision fully embraces the potential impact of information superiority and technological advances on military operations, resulting in a complete transformation of traditional warfighting concepts (e.g. maneuver, firepower, protection, sustainment) via changes in weapons systems, doctrine, culture, and organization. This transformation is so profound it will result in four new operational concepts that together aim at achieving full-spectrum dominance: dominant maneuver; precision engagement; full-dimensional protection; and focused logistics. The realization of Joint Vision 2010 will lead to a revolutionary increase in joint force effectiveness.

Dominant Maneuver

Dominant maneuver involves the multidimensional application of information, engagement, and mobility to employ widely dispersed joint forces to apply decisive force upon an enemy’s centers of gravity to compel an adversary to either react from a position of disadvantage or resign from the conflict. Dominant maneuver involves the decisive application of force at critical points by leveraging U.S. asymmetric advantages to achieve operational objectives in minimum time and with minimum losses. The dominant maneuver concept requires several enhanced capabilities. First, U.S. forces need to be tailored for the specific operation, lighter and more rapidly deployable, and possess the requisite speed and force to mass effects and obtain positional advantages in time and space. Flexible, responsive logistics are critical to this concept. This tailor-to-task organizational ability, combined with focused logistics and advanced command and control, will reduce and disperse operational footprints and make it much more difficult for an adversary to fix and attack U.S. forces.

Precision Engagement

Precision engagement provides the means by which joint forces achieve desired effects across the spectrum of military operations. It promises the ability to find, fix, track, and precisely target any military objective worldwide. Precision engagement leverages information superiority and global situational awareness through near real-time information on the objectives or targets, and a joint awareness of the battlespace for dynamic command and control. The result is a greater assurance of generating the desired effect against the objective or target due to more precise delivery and increased survivability for all forces, weapons, and platforms, and the flexibility to rapidly assess the results of the engagement, then to reengage with precision when required.

The precision engagement concept transcends the notion of firepower. It encompasses achieving precise effects in cyberspace, as well as accurate and timely deliveries of humanitarian relief supplies or medical treatment to populations, and directed psychological operations for greatest influence. Precise, nonlethal weapons are currently under development for use in operations in which an important goal is to minimize fatalities and collateral damage. Precision engagement enables joint force commanders to develop revolutionary strategies, operational ideas, and schemes of maneuver. Working together, the Services and DoD combat support agencies are striving to increase battlespace situational awareness and the effectiveness of precision munitions and to ensure that equipment provided to U.S. forces is fully integrated into the advanced systems that support precision engagement.

Full-Dimensional Protection

Protection for U.S. forces and facilities must be provided across the spectrum, from peacetime through crisis and at all levels of conflict. Achieving this goal requires a joint command and control architecture that is built upon information superiority and employs a full array of active and passive measures at multiple echelons. Full-dimensional protection will enable U.S. forces to safely maintain freedom of action—freedom from attack and freedom to attack. Development and deployment of a multi-tiered theater missile defense architecture, combined with offensive capabilities to neutralize enemy systems before and immediately after launch, are prime examples of full-dimensional protection efforts. U.S. forces also need improved protection against chemical and biological weapons. New chemical and biological weapons detectors, improved individual protective gear, and a greater emphasis on collective protection are all critical to the Department’s efforts to protect U.S. forces from these threats. Finally, full-dimensional protection includes defense against asymmetric attacks on information systems, infrastructure, and other critical areas vulnerable to nontraditional means of attack or disruption.

Focused Logistics

Focused logistics integrates information superiority and technological innovations to develop state-of-the-art logistics practices and doctrine. This will permit U.S. forces to accurately track and shift assets, even while enroute, thus facilitating the delivery of tailored logistics packages and more timely force sustainment. Focused logistics will streamline the logistics footprint necessary to support and sustain more agile combat forces that can be rapidly projected around the globe. Initiatives such as Automatic Identification Technology, Joint Total Asset Visibility, Global Transportation Network, and the Global Combat Support System will provide deployable, automated supply and maintenance information systems for precise and more responsive logistics. These and other DoD-wide programs, as well as a host of Service initiatives, will be capable of supporting rapid unit deployment and employment. They will better support joint force commanders by eliminating redundant requisitions and reducing delays in the shipment of essential supplies.


Framed by Joint Vision 2010 as a backdrop, individual Service visions seek to build on the joint vision and delineate the future of land, sea, aerospace, and amphibious warfare.


Through Army Vision 2010, the Force XXI process, and the Army After Next process, the Army is identifying new concepts of land warfare that have radical implications for its organization, structure, operations, and support. Lighter, more durable equipment will enhance deployability and sustainability. Advanced information technologies will help the Army conduct rapid, decisive operations. The force will be protected by advanced but easy-to-use sensors, processors, and warfighting systems to ensure freedom of strategic and operational maneuver. The Army’s Revolution in Military Logistics will change how Army forces are projected and sustained. The Revolution in Military Logistics will transition Army logistics to a global, distribution-based logistics system to take maximum advantage of technological breakthroughs, organizational change, new distribution and transportation concepts, and information systems. The Army will require flexible, highly tailorable organizations—from small units to echelons above corps—to meet the diverse needs of future operations and to reduce the lift requirements for deployment.


The Department of the Navy’s future vision of warfare is delineated in Forward . . . From the Sea. From this is derived the new Navy Operational Concept, which identifies five fundamental and enduring roles: sea control and maritime supremacy, sea-based power projection to the land, strategic deterrence, strategic sealift, and forward naval presence. In the future, the Navy will fulfill these roles with vastly enhanced capabilities. The Navy has embraced an RMA concept called network-centric warfare. It involves the use of widely dispersed but robustly networked sensors, command centers, and forces to produce significantly enhanced massed effects. Combining forward presence with network-centric combat power, the Navy will reduce timelines, decisively alter initial conditions, and seek to head off undesired events before they start. In short, the Navy will have the ability to influence events ashore from the sea quickly, directly, and decisively. The naval contribution to dominant maneuver will use the sea to gain advantage over the enemy, while naval precision engagements will use sensors, information systems, precisely targeted weapons, and agile, lethal forces to attack key targets. Naval full-dimensional protection will address the full spectrum of threats, providing information superiority; air and maritime superiority; antisubmarine, antisurface, and mine warfare; theater air and missile defense; and delivery of naval fires. Finally, naval forces will be increasingly called upon to provide sea-based focused logistics for joint operations in the littorals.

Air Force

Global Engagement: A Vision for the 21st Century Air Force, the Air Force’s vision of air and space warfare through 2020, calls for maintaining and improving six core competencies built on a foundation of quality personnel and integrated by global battlespace awareness and advanced command and control. Air and space superiority will allow all U.S. forces freedom from attack and freedom to attack, while the Air Force’s ability to attack rapidly anywhere on the globe will continue to be critical. Rapid global mobility will help ensure the United States can respond quickly and decisively to unexpected challenges to its interests. Precision engagement will enable the Air Force to reliably apply selective force against specific targets simultaneously to achieve desired effects with minimal risk and collateral damage. Information superiority will allow the Air Force to gain, exploit, defend, and attack information while denying the adversary the ability to do the same. Agile combat support will allow combat commanders to improve the responsiveness, deployability, and sustainability of their forces. Finally, Global Attack embodies its unique ability to attack rapidly and persistently with a wide range of capabilities anywhere on the globe at any time.

Marine Corps

Like the Navy, the Marine Corps derives its vision for future sea-bases power projection operations from the Department of the Navy’s Forward . . . From the Sea. These are captured in Operational Maneuver From the Sea (OMFTS) and Ship-to-Objective Maneuver (STOM). The underpinning for both of these concepts is maneuver warfare, which demands tactically adaptive, technologically agile, and opportunistic forces. As such, OMFTS and STOM-configured forces must be able to rapidly reorganize and reorient in response to changing tactical opportunities—while dispersed both at sea and ashore over much greater distances—along the full spectrum of future operational environments. An important assumption for the OMFTS Marine Corps is that it will increasingly need to operate in urban or suburban environments. To make this vision a reality, the Marine Corps will need to rapidly assimilate improvements in warfighting capabilities gained through the RMA. Leveraging the increasing lethality of long-range precision weapons, the greater range and speed of maneuver made possible by new mobility technologies, and opportunities afforded by information dominance forms the foundation for these concepts at both the individual and unit levels.


Pursuit of a genuine Revolution in Military Affairs lies at the heart of the defense strategy’s requirement to prepare now for an uncertain future. Rooted in an advanced common command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence backbone and guided by the joint and Service visions, a wide range of activities are under way throughout the Department to transform U.S. forces and the way they carry out the full range of military missions. Several of these RMA experimentation-related activities, including studies, wargames, advanced concept technology demonstrations, and advanced warfighting experiments, are aimed at developing new operational concepts and, ultimately, the new strategy, doctrine, organizational configurations, training, equipment, operations, and tactics that are described in detail in the next two chapters.

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