The Air-Sea Battle concept that is to frame a new U.S. military capability is not designed for a confrontation with China as many critics contend, said two retired U.S. flag officers. Lt. Gen. David Deptula, USAF (Ret.), former deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, U.S. Air Force, and Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, USN (Ret.), former commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, told an audience at Joint Warfighting 2012 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, that the new concept is geared toward new tactics likely to be employed by a range of adversaries facing off against the United States in future conflicts. "Air-Sea Battle is meant to be a strategic concept," Adm. Walsh emphasized. "It is not just about China." Gen.
Joint Warfighting 2012
The steps necessary to achieve the Air-Sea Battle strategy may induce long-sought major changes in U.S. military force structure. Yet, some aspects will require game-changing decisions and shifts in priorities. Two retired flag officers-Lt. Gen. David Deptula, USAF (Ret.), former deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, U.S. Air Force, and Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, USN (Ret.), former commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, outlined how Air-Sea Battle will affect the force at Joint Warfighting 2012 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Gen. Deptula said that Air-Sea Battle has the potential of becoming an integral part of U.S. national strategies. And. Adm.
Letting the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) lead operations against the Taliban has led to some surprising results, said the U.S. Marine Corps general who commands the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The Afghans are surprised at how well they perform under battle when they lead the operation-and so are the ISAF forces who partner with the ANSF under their leadership. Speaking via a video teleconference link from Afghanistan, Gen. John R. Allen, USMC, told the audience at Joint Warfighting 2012 that the ISAF is striving to move the ANSF into the lead in the campaign against the Taliban. This effort is bearing fruit in several ways.
Many of the nations that are helping support the Afghan people in their fight against the Taliban will continue to help the country long after their active combat has ended, according to the commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Gen. John R. Allen, USMC, described to the audience at Joint Warfighting 2012 how most ISAF nations are establishing their own bilateral agreements to assist the Afghan government beyond the fighting. "We will keep our commitment to the afghan national forces beyond 2014," Gen. Allen said of the planned end of ISAF combat operations. The bilateral relationships will ensure continued training, advising and mentoring of the Afghan force.
Building the Joint Information Environment (JIE) may prove to be the biggest boost for U.S. Defense Department cyberspace. Having that standardized joint network realm could enable faster and more consistent defensive-as well as-offensive cyber operations. A panel focusing on cyber at Joint Warfighting 2012 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, generated a great deal of agreement on key points among its participants, but no clear picture as to what will solve the challenges that bedevil cyber operations. Maj. Gen. Mark Bowman, USA, director, C4 (J-6), the Joint Staff, discussed how the JIE will help shape the way for cyber. It will provide a shared infrastructure and shared situational awareness.
Many of the long-sought goals of ubiquitous intelligence data already have been achieved by the commercial sector, and nations must adjust to this new reality, according to an industry expert. A user community of 1 billion people is providing imagery and other data that both removes secrecy and provides vital information that governments can use-for better or worse. Michael T. Jones, chief technology advocate for Google Ventures, described how this new capability is changing access to information during an address at Joint Warfighting 2012 in Virginia Beach.
The leading global search engine is turning its eye on two-thirds of the Earth's surface and its underlying terrain, according to a leading official. Michael T. Jones, chief technology advocate for Google Ventures, told an audience at Joint Warfighting 2012 in Virginia Beach how two new endeavors will provide new information about the world's oceans and their users. Coming soon will be a Google Map function that tracks every ship in the world through their Automatic Identification System transponders. In a few weeks, two Google microsats will allow 1 billion users to follow ship passages around the world, including military vessels.
A perfect storm is coming as budgetary constraints are exerting pressure on efforts to transform the force with new technologies for emerging missions. In particular, the U.S. Navy must be able to build ships that are more versatile and flexible in a system that supports process rigidity. "Oversight has run amok," said Vice Adm. Walter M. Skinner, USN, principal military assistant to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. "There it too much oversight in the current system. Somewhere between too much oversight and not enough oversight, we have to come together among the parties." Adm. Skinner spoke in a panel discussion at Joint Warfighting 2012 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Many of the challenges faced by unmanned vehicles can be solved with greater autonomy. However, that raises issues of its own, according to panelists at Joint Warfighting 2012. Today's unmanned aerial vehicle is more akin to a remotely piloted vehicle, said Col. Timothy P. Healy, USA, of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, TRADOC. He called for artificial intelligence (AI) for both vehicle operation and for its transmission of data. The colonel noted that AI is needed to streamline data so that whatever is not critical does not need to be sent back to headquarters. As unmanned vehicles proliferate, their stress on available bandwidth increases.
The same networks that empower U.S. forces could be their Achilles' heel if troops lose their ability to operate without them. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, USA, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cautioned the audience at Joint Warfighting 2012 in Virginia Beach that the U.S. military needs to be ready for space and cyber to be contested exponentially more than today. "The worst case scenario might be the most likely scenario," he warned. Gen. Dempsey stated that forces must be able to continue when key capabilities are contested. Ubiquitous technologies such as the Global Positioning System probably will be denied at some point. U.S. forces must practice operating in degraded environments frequently.
Treating people properly and ensuring that they receive the support that they need may be the key to attracting and retaining good personnel in the military, according to a panel of experts at Joint Warfighting 2012. Addressing the topic of how the services can meet future expectations and challenges, the panelists largely agreed on the measures that are necessary to ensure a satisfied and effective force for the coming times of change. Maj. Christopher Bowers, USA, of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, emphasized that the quality of leadership is a major factor. Telling leaders to "Lead the way you want to be led," he warned against toxic leaders poisoning the atmosphere for personnel.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated that both the U.S. military and the homeland face similar national security threats in the coming years. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, USA, told the audience at Joint Warfighting 2012 in Virginia Beach that threats to national security will not come just from advanced militaries, so non-military responses must be a part of defense efforts. "We face a far more competitive security environment in which our overmatch over adversaries has diminished," Gen. Dempsey declared. He explained that destructive weapons are moving horizontally across militaries, reaching more forces in many countries. And, many destructive weapons also are moving vertically down to nonstate actors.
The changes needed in the U.S. Joint Force can be achieved by adapting new technologies to most of the existing force, stated the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, USA, described how those technologies can achieve vital changes to the audience at Joint Warfighting 2012 in Virginia Beach. Looking ahead to Joint Force 2020, Gen. Dempsey said that 80 percent of that force already is programmed or in place. The remaining 20 percent is not programmed, and it can be tailored to suit requirements. "We either can change the 20 percent that is not yet programmed, or we can change the way we use the 80 percent," the general stated.
Finding balance, encouraging critical thinking and advancing cyber education are part of the panel recommendations from a group of service representatives addressing training and education in a constrained budget environment. The panelists, who spoke at Joint Warfighting 2012 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, made their points while acknowledging the looming budget challenge, as it was described by MGen. Thomas K. Andersen, USAF, commander, Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education. Timing is everything in the military. All services are faced with the beginning of a strategic point as the wars wind down and budget restraints are faced, stated MGen Robert H. Scales, USA. (Ret.), former commandant U.S.
The changes that have redefined the U.S. military over the past decade of war may have left it ill-equipped to fight whatever type of war it faces next, suggests a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. James E. Cartwright, USMC (Ret.), the inaugural Harold Brown Chair in defense policy studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the audience at Joint Warfighting 2012 that a strategic outlook must be applied to the force if it is to be able to withstand budget cuts and deal with new types of conflict. He described the U.S. military, which has evolved to address operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, as an occupation force.
The technology of replacing lost limbs and senses has advanced dramatically because of urgent needs arising from the wars in Southwest Asia. Former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. James E. Cartwright, USMC (Ret.), the inaugural Harold Brown Chair in defense policy studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, described some of these advances to the audience at Joint Warfighting 2012. He related how one veteran who lost all four of his limbs volunteered for an experimental program to embed a computer chip in the side of his skull. With that chip in place, he was able to control a mechanical limb remotely-the prosthetic arm was in a corresponding laboratory thousands of miles away.
An aging U.S. population and a younger population in tropical areas may pose troubles for U.S. national security in the near future, said a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. James E. Cartwright, USMC (Ret.), the inaugural Harold Brown Chair in defense policy studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the audience at Joint Warfighting 2012 that the different priorities of both groups could put the United States at risk. In the United States, an aging population that averages 44 years old has different priorities than it did a generation ago. This group is tending to focus more on health care than on activities such as defense and education.
The Atlantic alliance needs to energize the relationship between the United States and its European partners so that it can deal with the uncertainty that will define the future. Vice Adm. C.A. Johnstone-Burt, OBE MA, RN, chief of staff, NATO Allied Command Transformation, said that the concept of Europe picking up more of the burden in NATO was a healthy approach that will broaden NATO's perspective, not narrow it. Speaking in the opening keynote discussion at Joint Warfighting 2012 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, the admiral said that the United States needs to be "an explicit leader in NATO, not an implicit one." And, Europe must take its place with greater activity in NATO.
The homeland is now part of the battlespace as the pace of change is increasing, according to a member of the Joint Staff. Lt. Gen. George J. Flynn, USMC, director, J-7, the Joint Staff, told the audience at Joint Warfighting 2012 in Virginia Beach that adversaries are taking advantage of change, and that trend is likely to increase in the near future. "If you like the complexity and uncertainty of today, you're really going to like tomorrow," Gen. Flynn said. He noted that the terrorists behind the Mumbai attacks exploited inexpensive and commonly available assets to plan and execute their onslaughts.