Expectations of the American people ? What is the American Way of War (lethal) and how can we transform that way? (Non-lethal ie Information Ops, psyops, etc…)
2. Introduction: September 17, 2001, ?I want justice and there?s an old poster out West . . . I recall, that said ?Wanted, Dead or Alive?.? This quote, spoken by President George W. Bushwhile standing on the contorted remains of the World Trade Center Towers, echoed loudly around the world. The United States had just been attacked by the violent extremist organization (VEO), Al-Qaeda, whose ringleader was the disreputable Osama bin Laden (OBL). Under the guise of ?justice?, what we Americans truly wanted was cold-blooded revenge. Seven years later, as the search for OBL continued, President-elect Barack Obama resounded a similar theme, ?Killing or capturing Osama bin Laden is critical to the United States.? These messages were encompassed by over a decade of conflict against Al Qaeda and its affiliates in Iraq, Afghanistan, and countless other nations around the world. During this period, tens of thousands of terrorists and terrorist supporters, including OBL, were killed or captured while facing the full might of the most powerful and lethal military in history, at a cost of over 4.4 trillion dollars and thousands of American lives. [https://costsofwar.org/article/economic-cost-summary] This conflict, however, continues to rage. Today, we face 59 foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs), including Al Qaeda, the Islamic State (IS), the Taliban, and Boko Haram. [https://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/other/des/123085.htm] In his book, ?The American Way of War?, historian Russell F. Weigley describes that Americans prefer to fight wars of attrition through annihilation of the enemy. (page xxii?) This claim is clearly supported by all major conflicts in which the United States has fought in and rings especially true in the War on Terror. After all this effort, we must ask, ?Has the traditional American way of fighting worked?? Although no significant terrorist attacks have taken place within US borders, almost half of Americans feel less safe today than they did before the attacks on September 11, 2001. [https://news.yahoo.com/terror-isis-911-poll-134635258.html] Last year alone, over 200 terrorist attacks took place around the globe. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents,_2014] FTOs, namely IS, have managed to wage transformative information operation (IO) campaigns that combine both lethal and nonlethal effects to influence thoughts and behaviors worldwide. It is not just IS who exhibits this capability, certain nations of interest, such as China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, have all managed to ?level the playing field? with United States on the world stage, and most without firing one shot. In present day, information delivery occurs instantly. As the information networks and dissemination techniques become more efficient for senders of information, the United States must establish itself as a leader in the advancement and employment of IO capabilities and leverage those capabilities in the employment of nonlethal measures. Joint Publication (JP) 3-13 and JP 5-0 document the basic principles of IO clearly and JP 3-60 addresses how to effectively incorporate IO and nonlethal fires into the Joint Targeting Cycle (JTC). There remains in the JTC, however, a focus on kinetic, lethal, methods of employment. Nonlethal targeting, specifically IO-related actions, must be considered as thesignificant contributor to the achievement of mission objectives.
Thesis Statement: To be victorious in today?s conflicts, the United States must transform the way it thinks and fights by mastering nonlethal measures of warfighting through the comprehensive study of how our adversaries employ nonlethal measures, through changes in expectations and psyche of the American people, and through internal cultural changes within the Department of Defense.
3. Background: Discussion on projected reduction in spending on national defense, enemy use of nonlethal measures, in particular information operations, the current joint targeting process, and the American way of fighting wars.
Include this: Joint targeting is rooted in the application of lethal fires. This mentality is transferred into conceptualizing the way we fight during the development of targets and priorities in the joint targeting cycle. It is in our nature to employ ordnance as a first option. IO is inherent in all joint operations, and as the major component of nonlethal actions, should be prioritized over lethal fires. Nonlethal actions, particularly information related capabilities, tend to be less expensive, reduce the occurrences of unintended consequences, and reach wider audiences in less time, thus reducing the distance between actions we take and the operational and strategic consequences.
4. Analysis and Discussion:
?a. How other nations and organizations use IO
? China?s use of IO
? ISIS/AQD use of IO
? Russia use of IO
? North Korea/Iran use of IO
? Influence of Media (the media as the 12th man)
?b. Expectations of the American people ? What is the American Way of War and how can we transform that way?
?c. Discuss the lethal action-centric culture within DoD and how/why this needs to be changed.
5. Conclusion and Recommendation:
?a. Analysis of how other nations and organizations use IO and nonlethal measures to influence behaviors and create desired effects.
? Intelligence community
? MOS within DoD
? Central coordinating agency (does this currently exist)?
b. Changes to America?s expectations
? Public Affairs
? Senior military leaders
? The budget
c. DoD changes – The culture of focusing targeting structure on kinetic targeting methods undermines the powerful nonlethal capabilities of IO to achieve the same effects.
? A separate joint IO staff directorate can influence and advise more effectively on 2nd and 3rd order effects of lethal targeting methods and provide effective nonlethal targeting methods to accomplish the objective.
? Any change from the norm takes time. In order to change the mindset of the joint targeting cell to incorporate IO, continual education of the IO capabilities into the joint planning must be executed.
? Planning and executing IO requires IO-specific skill sets to effectively implement IO. Battalion is where the rubber meets the road in terms of IO. The lack of IO specific skill sets within the battalions greatly impacts the achievement of the objectives and thus does not assist in changing the culture of the joint targeting planning.
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