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A Conceptual Framework for Providing Requisite Variety in the Future Operational Forces of the United States Army,

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Master's thesis,

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The future forces of the U.S. Army face a great variety of threats with unprecedented complexities. The American public demands a quick, decisive victory with minimal casualties. In order to accomplish this, the Army must have the capability to totally dominate and control the enemy. Requisite Variety is essential to this mission. This research shows that in order to totally dominate the battlefield, the variety of options available to the friendly commander must be greater than or equal to that of the enemy. However, concurrent with the dramatic changes in the global environment, the U.S. has significantly decreased defense spending. The competition for these dwindling defense dollars has increased the Armys risk of misallocating its scarce resources to a few brilliant systems without regard to the factor of variety. This research provides a conceptual framework that innovates the Requirements Determination process by utilizing variety as a factor. It reveals concrete ways to provide the commander with the necessary variety to dominate the battlefield through regulation, information, and variety catalysts. By applying the framework to the concepts of Force XXI operations, the researcher develops the Time-Information Differential. This suggests that given the current budgetary constraints, the Army should focus its short term material acquisitions on C31 and mobility assets. However, to achieve synergistic results, the Army should concurrently research other types of weapon systems using the framework as a guide.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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