The likelihood is dwindling of another large scale war between superpowers, ala World War I or II. The promise of mutually assured destruction, increased media transparency, and interconnected economic dependencies make a conflict between two or more large military forces improbable. Our focus regarding nation states has instead turned to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction among unstable or belligerent countries Like Iran and North Korea. These situations help reinforce the need for a mission of deterrence, requiring the maintenance of a significant conventional and nuclear capability-I
Counterterrorism will continue to be a threat to our national security for years to come. Our most likely physical conflicts will stem from this mission, engaging our military against armed forces such as terrorists and insurgents in regions like the Middle East. Shock and awe campaigns appear to work initially against established forces but smaller groups of entrenched combatants require deployment of Special Forces. 2 As technologies advance, specifically in transportation and communication, the world becomes a smaller place.
Everyone is reachable in a shorter amount of time Han ever before; whether sending a message, transferring money, transporting material goods, or physically traveling. Armed groups have taken advantage of these advancements just as much as any other organization or individual, facilitating the planning and funding of terrorist and criminal satellites from a small to global scale. 3 The Illegal activities used to fund these groups have become very difficult to Intercept or interdict as they are easily hidden within the ever-expanding global economy.
In addition, the availability and anonymity of the internet has allowed terrorists to circuit all across the world and even Join forces with other organizations for financial or ideological reasons. As a result, terrorist and insurgent groups are more capable than ever before. As both a nation and a government, we have also benefited from technological globalization. Unfortunately, our use of these systems has also provided these groups with an increasing number of opportunities to disrupt our lives.
Gaining access to personal information such as names, social security numbers, and credit card numbers has never been easier. There have recently been attacks on some of our major financial institutions, providing opportunity for both financial gain and degradation of our economic stability. On the battlefield and exchanging volleys from a distance. In this environment where actions are more covert, where guerilla tactics and terrorist attacks on civilians have become common, intelligence becomes king.
The ability to intercept communications is much more important when trying to track individual insurgents or small armed groups. Discovering plans, intentions, and capabilities prior to actions is essential. As digital communications become more widely used by adversaries, our ability to access adversary information and networks, as well as our ability to protect our own, becomes even more important. On a nation-state level, our globalizes world may also discourage an all-out war, specifically between those with nuclear capabilities, for fear of a mutually assured destruction scenario.
Physical conflict may be replaced by political or economic methods. If we are aware of these possible measures, we will be better prepared to counter or even preempt any action. Advance warning would allow us to stop terrorist attacks before they happen (ex. Liberty City Seven (2006)5, Fort Dig Plot (2007)6). The better access we have, the better we are able to employ the full spectrum of Information Operations. While the entirety of the military is seeing budget cuts, especially larger platforms and forays into experimental or new technologies, cyber is still getting a lot of attention. Intelligence has repeatedly been the key to success for commanders on the ground. Senior military leaders are recognizing that intelligence/information operations is an essential warranting discipline for our modern military. Cyberspace in particular is the battlefield of the future, garnering a lot of media attention thanks o the Chinese and groups like Anonymous. It is a new domain alongside and equal to sea, air, and land, as has been demonstrated by the establishment of United States Cyber Command. 8 A commander’s best decisions are made when he/she has all available information.
These leaders on the ground and at sea need to be better educated as to the benefits of cyber and intelligence in general. Commanders seem to love when good information comes in that helps accomplish a mission but are not always willing to listen or expend the time and resources to support the acquisition of said information. An Information Warfare Officer attached to a ship and in charge of an EWE division is, in the eyes of his CO, a surface warfare officer first and his first priority is to earning that qualification.
The establishment of the Information Dominance Corps was a step in the right direction towards recognizing the importance of information and intelligence in today’s Navy and for the success of modern missions. 9 Further well-publicized successes of the Intelligence Community, such as the capture/kill of Osama Bin Laden, are bringing about the kind of respect that this community has deserved. In order to continue our successes, there will be some budgetary and force planning repercussions to be compensated for.
With a national debt that continues to increase, the cuts that the military as a whole has already endured, and pending government furloughs, properly proportioning the needs of our armed services is essential. Continued investment in drone technology and acquisition would further free up funding by lessening the need for current or future manned air platforms. Decrease costs. The Joint Strike Fighter is a great example of how a new platform had the potential to standardize parts and maintenance across multiple services, effectively saving millions of dollars. 1 A departure from traditional combat into the digital world would require increased spending in the cyber domain. The speed at which cyber and information technology changes requires a significant monetary and resource investment to keep pace, let alone break new ground. It takes a lot of money to adequately train computer network operations personnel, both defensive and offensive specialties. With recent attacks on civilian organizations such as Sonly 2 and Bank of Americana, these skills are highly sought after. This corporate demand further complicates taters by making experienced personnel more difficult to retain. 4 In order for the U. S. To continue to grow as an economic, political, and military leader, we need to update and refocus our military role. In the face of global threats we need to maintain our conventional, nuclear, and counter terrorist capabilities. We must also strengthen the ability of our military intelligence organizations to support those capabilities and address the growing domain of cyberspace. The U. S. National Military Strategy needs to reflect our shifting priorities in today’s strategic environment.