Force Design (Spotlight Brief 1/21)
Envisioning a new command & control (C2) architecture for all-domain operations
Source: MITRE - Feb 21
It is a universal truism that legacy systems are challenged in the effective command and control of joint forces due to impediments between domains, echelons, classifications, and allies. This article investigates the needs of a future, joint command and control system and uses two operational vignettes against a threat with advantages in geography, initiative, and force generation to discuss these needs. The Australian Joint Force has an ongoing challenge in establishing and normalising an agile and resilient 21s Century digital command and control network. The reality is that the future Army must change to meet the challenge of Unified Domain Operations foreshadowed in the draft Future Land Operating Concept. This article highlights some steps required to adapt contemporary command and control structure to meet the emerging demands of all-domain convergence.
Source: MITRE - Jun 20
While there has much work on Western conflicts within the Middle East, Russian efforts in Syria have been more constrained due to Syrian and Russian control of media. This paper explains Russian lessons, and includes comments by Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu; General Staff Chief Valery Gerasimov, and several of the leaders of military districts (Dvornikov, Lapin, Zhuravlev) who have fought in Syria. It is important reading for two reasons. The first is the practical use of technology, capabilities and concepts that we are ourselves interested in; the second is to understand possible competitor and threat systems. The report specifically addresses:
- use of Special Forces and Private Military Companies
- urban combat
- field testing of new equipment
- updates to military art, including the use of robotics, new tactics and improved leadership (including a shift towards greater flexibility and possibly mission command)
- enabler support.
Source: Security Studies – Oct 20
Recent studies suggest technology has offered defence an operational and strategic advantage over the offense in the age-old tension between the two forms of warfare. Yet most Western militaries remain focused on offensive power projection. Jonathan Caverley and Peter Dombrowski look at the US Navy, an offensively focused organisation, and the potential to escalate a crisis that may undermine the Government’s desired strategic goals. While maritime focused, there are key points and concepts here relating to Chinese capabilities that will affect the Joint Force.
Source: Asian Security – Feb 21
The recent expansion of PLA operations well beyond the Chinese borders demands an expeditionary, strategic and joint logistics system. The PLA’s response is the Joint Logistics Support Force. This force, started by Xi Jin Ping with the Central Military Commission, is the centralisation of many independent units and agencies. The Chinese response to COVID-19 in Wuhan saw its debut as a key actor, allowing for identification of key details and assessments of efficacy. This assessment highlights possible shortfalls in jointery, command structure, logistic information systems and command and control culture. The article is highly pertinent reading for those seeking to understand how China may support its extra-regional military activities into the future.
The views expressed in this article and subsequent comments are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.
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