How do Russia, China, Iran and North Korea approach multi-domain integration in defence?
Jan 20, 2022
The Global Strategic Partnership, a research consortium led by RAND, was commissioned by the UK Ministry of Defence to support the development of a concept of Multi-Domain Integration enabling the UK to maintain advantage by exploiting the integration of activities across domains. In particular, the study aimed to investigate the nature, extent and drivers of Russia, China, Iran and North Korea's own evolving thinking on multi-domain integration.
Conceptual Approaches and Lessons from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea
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The UK is confronted with a strategic and operational environment characterised by complex interactions between multiple domains (e.g., maritime, land, air, space and cyber and electromagnetic). To counter perceived Western military advantages, potential adversaries of the UK have developed ways of expanding the battlespace and blurring traditional distinctions between war and peace, public and private, domestic and foreign, and the physical and virtual. At the same time, new operational domains and environments present the UK, its allies and partners with novel opportunities to exploit the vulnerabilities of adversaries.
This proliferation of domains increases the necessity but also the difficulty of developing and implementing effective strategy and operational art. This mounting challenge necessitates the development of new operating concepts as a guide to future capability and force development, ensuring that the UK has a coherent theory of how to prepare, operate, deter, fight and win.
In this context, the Global Strategic Partnership, a research consortium led by RAND Europe, was commissioned by the UK Ministry of Defence to support the development of a UK concept of Multi-Domain Integration. This seeks to enable the UK to maintain advantage by exploiting the integration of activities across domains. In particular, the study aimed to investigate the nature, extent and drivers of adversaries' own evolving thinking on this topic.
The study findings contributed to the development of the UK concept of Multi-Domain Integration and the associated Joint Concept Note (JCN) 1/20.
What is meant by Multi-Domain Integration?
What are key trends, similarities and differences in international approaches to MDI?
What are the lessons and implications for the UK?
Case study: Russian Federation
Case study: People's Republic of China
The research described in this report was prepared for the Global Strategic Partnership (GSP) and conducted by RAND Europe.
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