Dec 31, 1995
The Department of Defense is embarking on an effort to transform U.S. forces for the years and decades ahead. This will involve many of the ideas often discussed under the rubric of the revolution in military affairs (RMA). This paper suggests a possible transformation strategy for the Department to employ. The paper begins with a discussion of why transformation is essential for U.S. grand strategy. It then describes a strategy rooted in compelling strategic objectives. The strategy includes defining key operational challenges as "forcing functions" to encourage change while addressing major military problems. It then discusses how such challenges should be studied with a combination of basic research, modeling and simulation, and joint experiments. Such study would employ basic principles of decomposition, but would emphasize joint-level integration going far beyond mere "coordination." Finally, the paper discusses the need to change analytic approaches to highlight issues of risk and uncertainty. The new operational concepts of most interest involve new forms of warfare that are not currently well understood and will potentially involve substantial risks. It is therefore essential to identify those risks in assessing operational concepts and, subsequently, in understanding how risks can be eliminated or mitigated. The paper suggests new types of analytical methods well suited to such work.