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Multi-Domain Battle: A Necessary Adaptation of US Military Doctrine

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Technical Report,26 Jun 2017,24 May 2018

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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Is multi-domain battle MDB a new doctrine or merely a rehash of previous doctrine If the doctrine is not new, the US Army is potentially wasting time and resources creating new manuals that simply reproduce the doctrine we already have. Additionally, using the same doctrine, but with a different name could confuse the force at a time when it needs doctrinal clarity. On the other hand, if MDB is a radical departure from previous doctrine, the US Army runs the risk of potentially implementing doctrinal concepts that have not been thoroughly examined. Thus, understanding whether MDB is new or not is important in understanding the logic and intent of the new doctrine, what problem it is trying to solve, and how to carry out its implementation. Field Manual FM 3-0 Operations notes a multi-domain approach to operations is not new. US Army forces have effectively integrated capabilities and synchronized actions in the air, land, and maritime domains for decades. This work then starts with the hypothesis that MDB is not new, because elements of it can be found in previous theory, doctrine, and history. As criteria, or a standard of judgment or criticism, this monograph will use three MDB concepts found within FM 3-0 due to their prominence within the manual and in other MDB-related speeches and white papers. These three concepts take the form of windows of advantage, convergence, and positions of relative advantage in FM 3-0 and are discussed and defined within. The doctrine also incorporates these three principles into its overall concept of US Army operations ensuring that they are nested US Army doctrine. The examination of each of these components through history, theory, and doctrine enables objective analysis of the MDB concept and reveals whether these concepts are unique to MDB or have been present in the past.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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