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Outsmarting Agile Adversaries in the Electromagnetic Spectrum: Executive Summary


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Gaining access to and superiority in the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) is becoming increasingly important for securing military advantage. This importance was first recognized in World War II by Britain, which leveraged the knowledge of radio waves to conduct information warfare (particularly in the areas of signals intelligence [SIGINT] gathering and electronic jamming of radio waves) in the Allied effort to defeat Germany. Since then, military uses of the EMS, typically focused in the radio frequency (RF) part of the spectrum, have expanded in scope and complexity. For example, aircraft depend on the EMS (particularly RF) for sensing, navigating, and communicating. Now, military uses of the EMS are undergoing another renaissance; past capabilities will no longer be relevant in a world where control over information and the means to communicate it dominate historical weapons and concepts of employment. Adversaries and competitors are seeking to offset the United States historical ability to operate within and through the EMS by making their systems more complex and adaptable and, therefore, more difficult for U.S. platforms to detect, identify, evade, and counter. For these reasons, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Spectrum Superiority Strategy articulates the need to develop an electromagnetic spectrum . . . enterprise that is fully integrated, operationally focused, and designed for great power competition, with future EMS capabilities that must be able to perform, operate, and adapt to an increasingly complex threatscape.



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