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US to change strategic thinking after wargames predict colossal defeat

MarkOttawa

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More at The Drive's "War Zone" (great site):

Joint Chiefs Seek A New Warfighting Paradigm After Devastating Losses In Classified Wargames​


U.S. Forces "failed miserably" in the wargames, which simulated a battle for Taiwan among other scenarios...​


Mark
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CBH99

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Everything in the US military (minus programs and capabilities deep in the black world) is connected to something. Connected to each other, networked - sharing data, targeting data, high bandwidth info, even to the point where a UAV can fire at an enemy target using the weapons from a friendly ship hundreds of miles away. On a daily, or weekly basis - we read about a new program, pod, platform, capability, etc - that allows just this. Their ‘distributed warfare’ model.

Which sounds amazing and lethal. Truly a force multiplier of a magnitude that even makes Gulf War 1 look somewhat primitive. Unmanned ships, with sensors and weapons? Unmanned aircraft used as refuellers and ISR platforms? Even unmanned helicopters for safer cargo transfers.

Truly a generation - at least - ahead of almost everybody else…UNTIL they can’t communicate or share data.


China has had decades to watch how the US military deploys, sets up shop, sustains itself, and fights wars. They reverse engineered tech when able, heavily invested in AA/AD platforms, are pumping out warships at lightning speed, who’s systems aren’t anywhere near as far behind as they used to be.


I’m glad the war games went as poorly as they did. Truly. It’s better this, than responding to a real world Taiwan situation and realizing the PLA is 2 steps ahead of you.

We’ve all made the mistake here in the west of focusing on the EW capabilities of our deployed forces, and almost ignoring entirely the cyber/EW threat we have here at home.
 

FJAG

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These wargames aren't anything new. There have been numerous others as well as Rand and other studies on the subject for over a decade all of which have been driving the development of new doctrines and equipment developments to implement those doctrines.

It's hard to turn a monolith like the US military on a dime. Equipment development might be the easy part of the process. Making the organizational changes are no more problematic while, IMHO, fine tuning the doctrine and creating effective changes in the training and educational processes will be the hardest part.

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Kirkhill

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These wargames aren't anything new. There have been numerous others as well as Rand and other studies on the subject for over a decade all of which have been driving the development of new doctrines and equipment developments to implement those doctrines.

It's hard to turn a monolith like the US military on a dime. Equipment development might be the easy part of the process. Making the organizational changes are no more problematic while, IMHO, fine tuning the doctrine and creating effective changes in the training and educational processes will be the hardest part.

🍻
Don't forget the "camp-followers" in the Senate, Congress and Industry that, through a combination of venality, self-interest, fear and legitimate concerns over the utility of new technologies and comfort with proven ones, impede change.
 

TangoTwoBravo

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I am not sure what result is expected from a wargame pitting the US against China in open war over Taiwan? Losing carriers and satellites might be the least of our concerns once if that war gets going. Park that.

Wargames are fun. It is important, though, to have an understanding of how results are adjudicated. So, if the Red Team could say "We are going to deny the US access to satellites" and the wargame controllers grant that effect arbitrarily you can then have a great thought experiment of what happens if the US military is denied access to satellites (or has degraded access). That doesn't mean that we should get rid of networks that rely on satellites, though, since the decision was rather arbitrary. It a minimum, though, it could inform work on making the network more resilient or looking at options ow what to do when access is degraded.

Similarly, if Red Team can say "We will destroy the US Carriers with our hypersonic missiles" and the Red Team grants that without actual high-fidelity simulation then once again we have a fun thought experiment but not necessarily a reason to scrap the carriers or fight differently.

The really important battles are fought between the Services and their congressional/industrial allies inside the Beltway. This article about the wargame is an Information Operation in that war.

I find it interesting that the General says that the attempt to assert information dominance failed, and then follows up that they will attempt to gain an information advantage. I think I can understand the difference between dominance and advantage, but this makes me think that the proposed changes are not all that revolutionary? Did anyone think we would have complete Information Dominance?

I think that the problem space that we need to study is a 2nd World/3rd World/non-state enemy with access to some 1st world weaponry and advice (Snowdome etc). We might end up in the same place, but there might be some important differences.
 

daftandbarmy

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I am not sure what result is expected from a wargame pitting the US against China in open war over Taiwan? Losing carriers and satellites might be the least of our concerns once if that war gets going. Park that.

Wargames are fun. It is important, though, to have an understanding of how results are adjudicated. So, if the Red Team could say "We are going to deny the US access to satellites" and the wargame controllers grant that effect arbitrarily you can then have a great thought experiment of what happens if the US military is denied access to satellites (or has degraded access). That doesn't mean that we should get rid of networks that rely on satellites, though, since the decision was rather arbitrary. It a minimum, though, it could inform work on making the network more resilient or looking at options ow what to do when access is degraded.

Similarly, if Red Team can say "We will destroy the US Carriers with our hypersonic missiles" and the Red Team grants that without actual high-fidelity simulation then once again we have a fun thought experiment but not necessarily a reason to scrap the carriers or fight differently.

The really important battles are fought between the Services and their congressional/industrial allies inside the Beltway. This article about the wargame is an Information Operation in that war.

I find it interesting that the General says that the attempt to assert information dominance failed, and then follows up that they will attempt to gain an information advantage. I think I can understand the difference between dominance and advantage, but this makes me think that the proposed changes are not all that revolutionary? Did anyone think we would have complete Information Dominance?

I think that the problem space that we need to study is a 2nd World/3rd World/non-state enemy with access to some 1st world weaponry and advice (Snowdome etc). We might end up in the same place, but there might be some important differences.

I wonder how Capt. BLH's principles of the indirect approach might play out in an information age war scenario?


According to Reid, Liddell Hart's indirect approach has seven key themes.:[39]

  • The dislocation of the enemy's balance should be the prelude to defeat, not to utter destruction.
  • Negotiate an end to unprofitable wars.
  • The methods of the indirect approach are better suited to democracy.
  • Military power relies on economic endurance. Defeating an enemy by beating him economically incurs no risk.
  • Implicitly, war is an activity between states.
  • Liddell Hart's notion of "rational pacifism".[40]
  • Victory often emerges as the result of an enemy defeating itself.

 
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