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TRADOC OE Operational Environment 2010-2025
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  • The OE is a doctrinal term that is recognized by the joint community as the composite of conditions, circumstances and influences that affect a commander’s decision making. It does this by viewing the environment through the lens of present and future trends and drivers that could affect how a Commander will organize and employ forces. We at TRADOC G-2 contribute to this by continually assessing and re-evaluating the OE concept paper. For us, it is a living document that analyzes all of these conditions, circumstances and influences to ensure that they are relevant and accurate. In this way, we are ensuring that everyone understands the characteristics of current and future operations, as well as the nature of those threats encountered in those operations.To understand why it’s important, we need to understand what it influences. The OE is the lifeblood of leader, concept and capabilities development and support to training. It is critical for training the right leaders for tomorrow.Because of this, the OE influences all of these functions here – to include the spectrum of DOTML-PF as well as how we think about and approach conflict, and how we plan for unique operations, such as MAROFor you all, the OE is instrumental in developing DOTMLPF concepts because it prescribes the conditions that need to be replicated for training and testing.
  • Here we have emphasized what we judge to be the most critical trends to watch in the future operational environment.Globalization – the best thing about Globalization is the expanded transfer of goods, ideas, technology and people. The worst thing about Globalization is [same thing]. 1% - but also 2.8 billion people are expected to be living below the poverty line by 2025. Disparity is becoming more pronounced and people are becoming more aware. Info – With an ever expanding global communication network, we have undergone a fundamental change in how we communicate, store, process, and manipulate info. You have all witnessed this phenomenon – the tweets from Iranian citizens following the prez elections; the byzantine hacks on facebook, texting while driving, the youtube frenzy that shut-down the internet after Michael Jackson’s death. More ppl have more access to info – and the ability to spread that info on a global scale – than ever before. Drawing on Ian Bremmer’s J-Curve theory, these trends towards greater openness represent the gravest immediate danger to closed, authoritarian states like Burma, DPRK and Iran, because they no longer have the decisive ability to control and manipulate information flow. Our concern is that they will respond by reconsolidating their power.Demographics – The likelihood of instability will increase as developing countrypopulations of will almost double in size by 2020 (esp. in Africa, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia. The “youth bulge” created by this growth will be vulnerable to anti-government and radical ideologies and will threaten government stability. In the last 2 decades, 80% of all civil conflicts took place in countries where 60% or more of the population was under 30 yrs old. 90% of world’s population growth in 2030 will occur in developing countries… Opposite in the developed world…dev world’s share of global pop is 14%; it will fall to 10% by 2050. As early as 2015, the worker population in Europe and Japan will shrink by 1% per year.; But the biggest kick is urbanization. By 2030, 60% of world’s pop in urban areas; 1 of 3 of these will be living in slums. Think about the 2nd/3rd order effects: strains on resources/infrastructure, spread of pandemics, unemployment and disaffection, high crime rates.Ideology – Identity will become increasingly based on religious convictions and ethnic affiliations, implying that individual loyalty to the state and state institutions will become increasingly conditional. In other words, groups and non-state actors will find it easier to exploit these fractures to supplant state’s ability to provide the basic needs of its pop, while also carrying out own agenda. Hezbollah  legitimacy in 2006 war; Al-Shabab in Mogadishu today. Takeaway is changing nature of power, have to work harder to identify critical stakeholders in conflict. WMDs – Both states and non-state actors will to seek WMDs as a way to achieve regional power or to deter U.S. action, and there are multiple sources they can access to do so. Also, chemical and biological weapons can be integrated into legitimate commercial infrastructures to conceal a country’s capabilities. May 2003 aQ Fatwa – Zarqawi’s foiled cyanide plotsTech – Big concern is that we’re behind power curve. 70% of S&T research is conducted outside of the U.S., and China and India graduating more engineers than we are. Compounding this prob is the proliferation of COTS tech and open access to what used to be specialized, esoteric studies – how to build a dirty bombs, how to take down the DOIM, how to utilize chem/bio agents readily available in civilian industries, etc. While tech can dramatically improve our lifestyles and well-being, extremists are exploiting that same technology to manipulate perceptions, export terror, and recruit the people who feel disenfranchised or threatened by its effects. Resources - Between 2009 and 2020, global energy demand is projected to grow at an average rate of 1.6% per year. In addition, by 2030, energy requirements are predicted to be more than 50% higher than today. Twenty-one countries today – with a combined population of about 450 million – are considered to be either cropland or freshwater scarce. By 2025, 15 more countries will be added to this list bringing the global population total to 1.4 billion people. The forecast for developing countries is particularly dire, as their agricultural activities currently consume over 70 percent of the world’s water. Conclusion – The trajectory of these trends is leading us towards an environment of instability, uncertainty, and complexity.
  • As we touched on throughout this brief, one of the most critical variables in the operational environment that will drive all other variables is the continuing information revolution. Based on projections of technological innovations and considerations of human behavior, this revolution will include four distinct realities…Small World – with billions of people connected via mobile media centers at any one time, real time information transmission will be the norm. Expect your actions to be recorded at all times, other via a CCTV, a camera-enabled cell-phone, or some other miniscule data storage device. Along with this interconnectedness comes the loss of privacy. Indeed, today information is already yearning to be free, with the proliferation of open source codes (LINUX), free eBooks downloadable straight to your PDA, and the explosive blogosphere that has replaced traditional news sites as primary sources of information. By 2028, once highly coveted information – to include specific, esoteric information on how to build your own army – will be publicly available.Transparent Battlefields – In this same vein, this enhanced access to information will mandate greater accountability for government activities. Military operations will always include journalists and media representatives, and failure to address basic governance issues will create opportunities for revolutionaries and insurgents to lay their claims. Omnipresent Media – An omnipresent media means that someone will always be watching…”media” too, will take on a new meaning, to include citizen journalists – anyone inclined to comment. Thus, the idea of truth becomes elusive, as anyone will be able to create and manipulate information. This is a critical point as information advantage will ultimately determine the victor (IO campaigns become ever more important).Cyber Sanctuary – Finally, the cyber domain represents the single greatest sanctuary for hobbyists, hacktivists, and terrorists alike. As the lines between fiction and reality continue to blur, so increases the potential for sensational plots and attacks. The super-empowered individual of tomorrow will have a vehicle to flourish.
  • There are certain enduring characteristics about the operational environment that we believe will remain constant into the future. A couple of these are particularly significant and worth pointing out. The first is that war will be fought amongst the people, with unfamiliar cultures, and where human suffering will likely permeate all aspects of operations, so human security must always remain a top planning consideration. It will be found in urban environments or in lawless areas (great example is the FATA in Pakistan) Globalization will encourage both the spread and advancement of S&T, making it even more likely to see WMD capabilities in the near future; and yet high tech capabilities will be combined with ubiquitous, low tech capabilities, which means that we will have to deal with a wide range of ttps And most importantly, the nature of the information environment is evolving at a faster pace. We are more interconnected than ever before. Already we find ourselves under a media microscope. Someone will always be watching, and potentially recording our actions. And so perceptions in the future will matter as much, possibly even more so, than reality.

Transcript

  • 1. The Operational Environment
    2010-2025
  • 2. Agenda
    Overview of the Operational Environment
    Global/Regional Trends
    Key Characteristics
    An Era of Persistent Conflict
    Hybrid Threat
    Emerging Nature of Threat Operations
    Threat Overview
    Final Thoughts
  • 3. What is the Operational Environment?
    Impacts on TRADOC:
    • Roles, missions and doctrine . . . Concept Development
    • 4. Requirements for personnel, materiel, training and education, organizations, etc . . . Requirements Determination
    • 5. Perspective on potential catalysts and drivers for operations . . . Capability Development
    • 6. Thinking, planning, decisions, selection of actions, feedback . . . Analysis of Alternative Futures
    • 7. Intellectual and philosophical tone for how the Army views conflict . . . Leader Development
    What it is:
    • JP 1-02: An Operational Environment is the “composite of the conditions, circumstances, and influences that affect the employment of military forces and bear on the decisions of commanders”
    The Operational Environment
    What it does:
    • Describes present and future characteristics and variables that will affect how leaders will organize, train and employ forces
    The OE underpins the Army’s efforts in leader, concept and capabilities development and support to training to prepare the right people, with the right skills and capabilities, at the right time and place for today and tomorrow
    2
    9
  • 8. …Information
    …Globalization
    …Ideology
    …Shifting Demographics
    …Environmental Fragility
    …Weapons of Mass Destruction
    The Operational Environment
    Top 1% of world population owns 40% of wealth… 2.8 billion below poverty by 2025
    Media microscope, billions of connected people … Social Media phenomenon …
    60% in urban areas by 2030 … 90% of pop growth in 2030 in developing countries … Youth Bulge in Africa, Middle East
    Competing cultures challenge state authority…Hezbollah’s perceived legitimacy
    …Technology
    ~25 nations possess, stockpile or develop … dual use chemical/bio weapons
    World food cost up 45%... Energy demand increasing 1.6%/yr … 450M severe water shortage
    70% of S&T research conducted outside of U.S. … DIY UAVs for < $1,000
  • 9. The Information Revolution … Beyond 2028
    Transparent Battlefields and Governments
    It’s A Small World After All
    • State activities receive intense scrutiny
    • 10. Bad governance has consequences . . .
    revolutionaries and insurgents capitalize
    • Billions of connected people
    • 11. 80-90% carrying mobile media centers
    • 12. How to manuals online…DIY dirty bombs and UAVs
    Omnipresent Media
    Cyber Sanctuary
    • Augmented Reality
    • 13. Anonymity and zero-footprint forums for hacktivists and hobbyists alike
    • 14. Super-empowered individuals
    • 15. Truth becomes more elusive…anyone can create and manipulate information
    • 16. Information advantage determines the victor
  • Key Characteristics
    • Among local populations with unfamiliar cultures, often in the midst humanitarian crisis …
    • 17. In urbansettings or harsh, inaccessible lawless areas …
    • 18. With an absence of local security or aneffectivelocal government … containing competing factionslocked in internal conflict …
    • 19. Against hybrid, full spectrum andnetworked enemies embedded in the local population and possessing a wide range of advanced technologies and military capabilities, including possible WMD …
    • 20. Employing adaptive and asymmetric combinations of traditional, irregular and criminal tactics …
    • 21. Direct and indirect challenges to access …
    • 22. Tied to a sophisticated information campaign …
    • 23. Creating situations demanding long duration operations at extended distances and requiring inter-agency and non-military tools to resolve…
    • 24. And conducted under the unblinking eye of an omnipresent media, potentially giving local events global significance …
  • An Era of Persistent Conflict
    Present
    Past
    …Beyond 2028
    365 conflicts in 2009… 31 conflicts fought involving massive violence… seven wars and 24 severe crises
    In 5,560 years of recorded human history there have been 14,531 wars…95% of man’s recorded history has been spent in conflict…2.6135 wars a year
    • Fought in the Global Commons
    • 25. Terrain holds broader significance than military advantage alone
    • 26. Violenceis calculated on how it affects control of the population
    • 27. The enemy cannot be destroyedin a conventional sense
    • 28. Characterized by a continually changing mix of armed forces and entities
    • 29. Local problems are global problems
    Confrontation is the NORM…there is less of a distinction between war and peace … different levels of conflict
  • 30. The Nature of Hybrid Threats
    Armed Forces are created to meet national/organizational needs in local/regional settings against neighboring states or internal threats
    U.S. forces dominate conventional, local or regionally focused armed forces
    The force the adversary needs to meet local requirements – is not the force it needs to challenge the U.S.
    Crime
    Irregular
    Extremist
    Opportunity
    Tailorable
    Strategy
    Organization
    ADAPTIVE APPLICATIONS
    TRADITIONAL
    Doctrine
    Capabilities
    Creative
    Defensive
    Seek advantage through regular + irregular forces, conventional + unconventional, all unified in purpose
    “Hybrid”
    New Technology/Rapid Adaptation
    Combat Developments
    US Dominance
    Uncertainty
  • 31. United States
    STRATEGIC PRECLUSION
    OPERATIONAL EXCLUSION
    Reduced
    Dominance
    ACCESS LIMITATION
    OPERATIONAL SHIELDING
    I
    I
    Mov
    /
    Mov
    /
    Mov
    /
    Mov
    /
    Intel
    Intel
    Intel
    Intel
    n
    n
    Man
    Man
    Man
    Man
    f
    f
    o
    o
    r
    r
    m
    m
    Gaining
    Dominance
    C2
    C2
    C2
    C2
    a
    a
    Ldr
    Ldr
    Ldr
    Ldr
    SYSTEMS WARFARE
    Fires
    Fires
    Fires
    Fires
    t
    t
    i
    i
    Protect
    Protect
    Protect
    Protect
    Sustain
    Sustain
    Sustain
    Sustain
    o
    o
    n
    n
    STRIKE
    RAPID TACTICAL TRANSITIONS
    Adversaries in
    2020 & beyond
    STRATEGIC ATTACK
    Emerging Nature of Threat Operations
    Dominance
    Time
  • 32. Threat Overview
    IEDs/Mines
    ADA
    Artillery
    Direct Fire
    Continue to evolve,
    missions will overlap.
    Iconic system
    attacks.
    Active engagement
    of UAVs and PGMs.
    Accuracy, range and
    lethality Increase,
    Dwell time decreases.
    Countermeasures
    Armor
    Cheap, plentiful,
    attacks soft targets
    using masking and
    surprise.
    CBRNE
    ATGM
    Frontal overmatch,
    Add-ons prolific,
    Low-observable technology
    Obscurants cheap/available,
    APS cost decreasing, integration
    difficult, field expedient
    D&D widespread.
    Information Operations
    Difficult to detect
    or defeat.
    Lethal, Available,
    Day/Night, Engage
    out to 7km.
    Insider the key CNO threat, multipurpose
    and GPS deception jammers, RF weapons
    available for close-in (unpredictable effects).
  • 33. Final Thoughts
    Beyond 2028
    Past
    Present
    Power Dynamic
    Nation States
    Shadow Organizations
    Emerging non-State
    World Order
    Multi-polar
    Uni-polar
    Bipolar
    Military Engagements
    Traditional
    Adaptations
    Power Projection Deterrence
    Nature of Warfare
    “Conventional”
    Counterinsurgency
    Combinations
    Adversaries
    Cellular
    Hybrid
    Hierarchical
    Big Threat
    Integrated Attack
    Terrorism
    M.A.D.