China plans to defeat powerful adversaries by systematically targeting the linkages and nodes that hold an advanced network-centric force together as a cohesive whole. The PLA calls this theory of victory “systems attack and destruction warfare,” hereafter, “system attack. Authoritative PLA doctrine emphasizes importance of system attack as China’s “basic operational method” of warfare. System attack is perhaps best remembered as “the American way of war with Chinese characteristics,” since the PLA developed the concept based on observing U.S. military victories In the 1990s. Some of the PLA’s writings on systems attack are clearly aspirational, but this does not preclude the effectiveness of the approach, and the doctrine shows that the Pl.A is thinking seriously and realistically about how to defeat.an advanced adversary. The requirements of system attack are actively driving PLA reform, acquisitions, operations and training, and the doctrine telegraphs how Chine intends to fight.
All modern forces depend on the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS). The military requirement for unimpeded access to, and use of, the EMS is the key focus for joint electromagnetic spectrum operations (JEMSO), both in support of military operations and as the focus of operations themselves. Electronic warfare (EW) is essential for protecting friendly operations and denying adversary operations within the EMS throughout the operational environment.
This white paper was prepared as part of the Strategic Multilayer Asssessment, entitled The Future of Global Competition and Conflict. Twenty-three expert contributors contributed to this white paper and provided wide-ranging assessments of Russia’s global interests and objectives, as well as the activities—gray or otherwise—that it conducts to achieve them. This white paper is divided into five sections and twenty-five chapters, as described below. This summary reports some of the white paper’s high-level findings, but it is no substitute for a careful read of the individual contributions.
Commanders ensure operational security (OPSEC) is practiced during all phases of operations. OPSEC is a capability that identifies and controls critical information, indicators of friendly force actions attendant to military operations, and incorporates countermeasures to reduce the risk of an adversary exploiting vulnerabilities. As adversary analysts apply more information to an analytical model, the likelihood increases that the analytical model will replicate the observed force. Thus, current and future capabilities and courses of action can be revealed and compromised.
Peace operations are activities intended to build, keep, enforce, or make peace, or when necessary, prevent conflict. They include crisis response and limited contingency operations and frequently involve international military missions to contain conflict, restore peace, and shape the strategic security environment to support reconciliation and rebuilding, as well as to facilitate the transition to legitimate governance. They include peacekeeping operations (PKO), peace building, peacemaking, conflict prevention, and peace enforcement operations (PEO). Peace operations may be conducted under the sponsorship of the United Nations (UN), another international organization, within a coalition of nations, or unilaterally.
Nuclear weapons are a key feature of the security environment. Adversaries increasingly rely on nuclear weapons to secure their interests. Those seeking ways to use nuclear weapons for coercion and war termination present complex deterrence and escalation management challenges. US nuclear weapons and the associated capabilities needed to conduct nuclear operations are essential to ensure an effective deterrent.
Cyberspace operations (CO) is the employment of cyberspace capabilities where the primary purpose is to achieve objectives in or through cyberspace. This publication focuses on military operations in and through cyberspace; explains the relationships and responsibilities of the Joint Staff (JS), combatant commands (CCMDs), United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), the Service cyberspace component (SCC) commands, and combat support agencies; and establishes a framework for the employment of cyberspace forces and capabilities.
In the pluralized, multipolar world, in which military and economic sources of power are widely distributed and technologies are making nation states increasingly more porous, the US and its partners face significant challenges on how best to adapt and thrive in a period of revolutionary changes. These factors may change the way US analysts, planners, and operators evaluate approaches in order to affect and direct the outcomes of military operations. To date, such courses of actions to a large extend have focused on compelling adversaries through the threat or application of force to achieve victory (i.e., “control”). In this changing geopolitical/technical landscape, it is increasingly clear that the DOD needs complement “control” with an explicit focus upon “influence” factors and forces that produce desired behavioral outcomes across complex and intermeshed human and technical systems.
The Joint Operating Environment 2035 (JOE 2035) is designed to encourage the purposeful preparation of the Joint Force to effectively protect the United States, its interests, and its allies in 2035. For the Joint Force, thinking through the most important conditions in a changing world can mean the difference between victory and defeat, success and failure, and the needless expenditure of human lives and national treasure versus the judicious and prudent application of both to defend our vital interests.
Joint Staff Strategic Multi-Layer Assessment on Bio-Psycho-Social Applications to Cognitive Engagement
The underlying concept of this paper is how bio-psycho-social approaches to cognitive engagement, described in greater depth by DeGennaro, may be put to use to collect, analyze, and/or apply information to meet a tactical, operational, or strategic end. This White Paper will focus on the proverbial “rubber meets the road” approaches of behavioral operations in the human domain where the former is “the study of attributes of human behavior and cognition that impact the design, management, and improvement of operating systems, and the study of the interaction between such attributes and operating systems and processes” and the latter is “the presence, activities (including transactions both physical and virtual), culture, social structure/organization, networks and relationships, motivation, intent, vulnerabilities, and capabilities of humans (single or groups) across all domains of the operational environment (Space, Air, Maritime, Ground, and Cyber).” Information Operations (IO) doctrine defines the cognitive domain as the component of the information environment (IE) that encompasses the gray matter of those who transmit, receive, and act upon information. Cognitive operations such as information processing, perception, judgment, and decision-making are the most vital aspect of the IE. Cognition is influenced by individual and cultural beliefs, norms, vulnerabilities, motivations, emotions, experiences, morals, education, mental health, identities, and ideologies and thus requires research and analysis methods from the bio-psycho-social sciences to understand and manipulate. When, how, and most importantly why to apply that understanding to US advantage at the tactical, operational, and strategic level is the focus of this effort.
Joint Staff Strategic Assessment: Counter-Da’esh Influence Operations Cognitive Space Narrative Simulation Insights
When planning to deal with any adversary or potential adversaries, it is essential to understand who they are, how they function, their strengths and vulnerabilities, and why they oppose us. Events over the course of the last year and a half highlight the importance of those factors as they relate to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or Da’esh). One of Da’esh’s obvious strengths is its ability to propagate tailored messages that resonate with its audiences. If the US Government and our allies are to counter Da’esh effectively, we must attack this center of gravity.
Joint Chiefs of Staff White Paper on Social and Cognitive Neuroscience Underpinnings of ISIL Behavior
This White Paper makes a significant contribution to the study of terrorist behavior in general and ISIL behavior in particular. Unique in this work is the melding of neuroscientific considerations about the basic structures and functions of the brain with social and cultural influences in order to provide a holistic insight into the motivations for terrorist behaviors. Importantly, this paper also explores the relationship between the narratives that support terrorist behavior and the neuro-cognitive processes that contribute to those behaviors. That relationship is accurately portrayed as symbiotic in the sense that one can only truly understand seemingly aberrant behavior if one understands the continuous ebb and flow of chemical and cultural influences that are manifested in an individual’s actions.
Joint Staff Strategic Assessment: Neurobiological Insights on Radicalization and Mobilization to Violence
This concise review presents theories, findings, and techniques from the neurobiology and cognitive sciences, as well as insights from the operational community, to provide a current and comprehensive description of why individuals and groups engage in violent political behavior. This report is based primarily on recent findings from the academic community. It has been compiled with the policy, planning, and operational community as the primary audience.
During FY 2014, the SOCCENT Commander requested a short-term effort to understand the psychological, ideological, narrative, emotional, cultural, and inspirational (“intangible”) nature of ISIL. As shown below, the SMA1 team really addressed two related questions: “What makes ISIL attractive?” or how has the idea or ideology of ISIL gained purchase with different demographics; and “What makes ISIL successful?” or which of the organization’s characteristics and which of the tactics it has employed account for its push across Syria and Iraq. The effort produced both high-level results and detailed analyses of the factors contributing to each question. The central finding was this: While military action might degrade or defeat factors that make ISIL successful, it cannot overcome what makes ISIL’s message and idea attractive.
Special Operations Command Central Multi-Method Assessment of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Early in 2014, as it became clear that the rise of the so-called “Islamic State” was becoming a significant menace to Regional Stability and US Interests, SOCCENT began a dialogue with Dr. Hriar Cabayan and his co-workers regarding a topic that has been at the core of the struggle against Violent Extremism. That question has been, and remains today, a perplexing one for those of us from Western cultures and societies: “What precisely are we contesting, and what is it that fuels the adversary’s power?” The contents of this paper reflect some of the work that Dr. Cabayan and his colleagues are doing to help us understand and comprehend this “intangible power” across a unique enterprise of academicians, scientists, policy intellectuals, current and former Foreign Service, military, and intelligence professionals. Most importantly, their efforts to improve our comprehension will enable us to adjust our efforts, our operations, our investments, and our risk-‐calculations to more effectively contest it and the organization that wields it. I am grateful for their tireless work in this regard, and I commend it to the reader.
(U//FOUO) Joint Center for International Security Force Assistance Afghan National Army Mentor Guide
This guide is a JCISFA publication on mentoring the Afghan National Army and is applicable to advisors, mentors and partner forces executing Security Force Assistance (SFA) operations. The guide is a companion to the May 2009 JCISFA Afghan National Police Mentor Guide and addresses identified gaps in mentoring Afghan National Security Forces. The guide offers cultural background information, partner security force challenges, advisor/mentor best practices, and challenges. As the United States assists other nations, our forces must adopt a “by, with, and through” strategy to enable a supported nation and its security forces to generate and sustain capabilities institutionally and operationally. We can achieve this by advising and mentoring them, partnering with the supported nation and through development of the supported nation and its security forces so that they can do it themselves.
(U//FOUO) Joint Center for International Security Force Assistance Guide: Roles and Functions of Senior Advisors
When advising and assisting partner nation security ministries and their institutions, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) leverages the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) from a combination of senior uniformed and civilian personnel, to include contractors to carryout development in a broad range of partner nation ministries and institutional requirements.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction Modifies Language on Collateral Damage Estimates for Drone Strikes
An updated instruction issued by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in October 2012 incorporates significantly modified language in numerous sections of the document that describe the process for estimating collateral damage prior to conducting drone strikes and other military actions. These subtle, but important changes in wording provide insight into the military’s attempts to limit expectations in regards to minimizing collateral damage and predicting the lethal effects of military operations.
(U//FOUO) Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction: No-Strike and the Collateral Damage Estimation Methodology
The reference provides warning and other appropriate measures to guard against the outbreak of nuclear war, either as a result of planned intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launches, or unauthorized or unexplained accidents or incidents involving a US space launch or event or implying a possible threat of a nuclear attack. Because the highest national importance is attached to agreements with the Russian Federation, the United States intends to prevent any event that would violate the agreements and implement actions minimizing the effect of any incident that might occur.
(U//FOUO) Joint Chiefs of Staff Manual: Standard Specified Geographic Location File Request (GEOREQ)
This publication has been prepared under the direction of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS). It sets forth joint doctrine to govern the activities and performance of the Armed Forces of the United States in DSCA operations, and it provides the doctrinal basis for interagency coordination during DSCA operations. It provides military guidance for the exercise of authority by combatant commanders and other joint force commanders (JFCs) and prescribes joint doctrine for operations, education, and training. It provides military guidance for use by the Armed Forces in preparing their appropriate plans. It is not the intent of this publication to restrict the authority of the JFC from organizing the force and executing the mission in a manner the JFC deems most appropriate to ensure unity of effort in the accomplishment of the overall objective.