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Comprehensive Thinking and Defense Transformation

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A key element of defense transformation will be nations taking an increasingly comprehensive approach to security issues, an approach that harmonizes multiple elements of national, international and non-governmental instruments. While militaries may evolve new capabilities to address emergent challenges, they must also become more proficient at operating with and alongside non-military actors -- seeking unity of effort where unity of command may be lacking. A comprehensive approach to security that blends both hard and soft power what U.S. Secretary of State Clinton calls smart power will require the harmonization of disparate systems which may have vastly different missions, cultures and sponsorship. Classic military operations analysis is adept at allocating functions and measuring the results of traditional battles or campaigns. This paper will cover how military analysis, modelling and experimentation will need to evolve to better address the complexities of a more comprehensive approach to security. Although the attributes of a comprehensive approach would appear to confound deductive analytical approaches, they are characteristic of the wide spectrum of complex adaptive systems, of which the best example is human society itself. Complexity theory offers an approach not based on solving difficult cross-domain challenges but of coping with them by bounding problems and limiting solutions to a set of more likely responses. Furthermore, complexity theory can be combined with James Grier Miller s Living Systems theory which deciphers the essential processes that enable all biological and sociological complex adaptive systems to evolve and survive to provide a framework both for understanding how to cope with complex human systems and for identifying new categories of analytic tools to enlighten decision makers from disparate domains. These concepts also compel us to make a distinction between knowledge as the sum of data and knowledge as an internalized

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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