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An Evaluation of the Human Domain Concept: Organizing the Knowledge, Influence, and Activity in Population-Centric Warfare

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Technical Report,01 Jun 2014,30 Apr 2015

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth

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As the US military prepares for future conflicts, the increasing likelihood of population-centric approaches to warfare sparks the need for adaptation to better understand, influence, and act in the human environment. The idea of a human domain of warfare emerged from the need for adaptation. Warfighting domains provide the US military with a division of labor and knowledge for creating, developing, and employing warfighting capabilities. Proponents for including a human domain argue that viewing populations as a military operating realm will better integrate joint operations, focus the US militarys future innovation, and delineate primary tasks between special operations and conventional forces. Organization theory and management research demonstrates the ability for new domains to generate innovation. However, innovation and expansion in dynamic environments tend to avoid interdependencies. The development of the US Navy from 1865 to 1898, the US Air Force from 1911 to 1947, and the current development within the space and cyber domains provide additional insights into the dynamics of warfighting domains and military innovation. The development in sea, air, space, and cyber domains demonstrate four key relationships between innovation and integration uneven risk to forces, unequal rates of adaptation between interdependent forces, conflicting requirements for investment, and building civilian sector capacity to support. Ultimately, the human domain concept provides an analogy to guide strategic thinking, but not an organizational construct for pursuing the goals of integration, adaptation, and delineation of tasks.

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