Accession Number:

AD1037591

Title:

How Should The US Adapt Its Military Doctrine To Be Able TO Fight A Peer Competitor

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

AIR WAR COLLEGE, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AFB United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2016-02-15

Pagination or Media Count:

28.0

Abstract:

American military thought, the so-called American Way of War, is predicated around winning decisive victories over all opponents. This may not be possible in the future. In the long term, unipolarity is likely to give way to multipolarity and so America may face challenges from other great powers. Even if multipolarity endures, there is an increasing chance of a conflict with a much more capable enemy than the United States is accustomed to facing, including nuclear-armed states. Aiming for an overwhelming victory will be inappropriate and possibly dangerous. A more flexible mindset will be needed, and this can be inculcated through doctrine. Extant doctrine reflects the traditional view of U.S. dominance, and so will need to change to include operations for more limited objectives. Current strategic direction already requires this, but this direction is not reflected in doctrine. Doctrine needs to change to reflect more fully the range of military operations the United States is likely to need to conduct in the future, and more particularly to consider strategies of denial. A denial strategy could be a suitable means of meeting an anti-accessarea-denial challenge. The main obstacle to making the required changes will be overcoming strategic culture and bureaucratic resistance.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE