America’s next war could be both global and galactic, according to one Army leader’s presentation at the annual Space and Missile Defense Symposium at the Von Braun Center Aug. 8.
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Robert “Bo” Dyess, acting director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, spoke about the character and framework of America’s next war with a peer or near-peer competitor.
Peer competitors are defined in military terms as nations with the capability and intention to make war with the United States where the outcome of such conflict remains in doubt.
“The future of armed conflict with a near-peer adversary is going to be a world war,” Dyess said. “But it’s not going to be a world war in the way that your father or grandfather fought one. A future war with a near adversary is going to be a star war but not in the way George Lucas envisioned it.”
Commanders will contend with threats ranging from traditional armies to criminal enterprises, hackers and terrorism on the battlefield of the future. Those new and changing characteristics of war will require the type of forward thinking and conceptualizing done at the ARCIC Dyess leads.
“When we think about the future of armed conflict, we need to do like Wayne Gretsky the hockey great said – we need to skate where the hockey puck is going to be, not where the puck has been,” Dyess said. “Multi-Domain Battle is skating to where the puck is going to be.”
Dyess said ARCIC takes a think, learn, analyze and implement approach to conceptualizing how the Army must allocate resources and prepare for future wars.
That has led ARCIC to the Multi-Domain Battle concept that cocoons the conventional elements of AirLand Battle. Multi-Domain Battle extends the principals of combined arms, incorporating all the services and international partners, to provide capabilities to act across all domains, the electromagnetic spectrum, the information environment and human perceptions.
While the mission of the Army is to fight and win America’s wars, Dyess shared the personal goal of any warrior who has seen battle.
“Believe me when I tell you if there is anything someone in uniform believes in it is that deterrence is actually the best option,” Dyess said. “Anyone that has been in combat knows to deter a fight is really the objective.”
ARCIC continues the thought work and conceptualizing to provide the Army with the framework of a future doctrine for winning and deterring America’s future wars. Multi-Domain Battle is designed to give commanders multiple options while presenting multiple dilemmas to the enemy, Dyess said.
“The joint force and its partners defeat the peer adversary’s aggression by breaking the peer adversary’s systems and ultimately its campaign,” Dyess said. “In periods of armed conflict, Multi-Domain battle will defeat the enemy and their conventional forces in a rapid campaign of war from all areas and all domains of the expanded battlefield simultaneously.”
Dyess concluded by reminding those in attendance there is still much to be done in preparing for future war with peer competitors, and that it can’t be done alone.
“Our work is not done, and we need your help,” Dyess said.
Pictured above: Maj. Gen. Robert Dyess, acting director, Army Capabilities Integration Center, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, takes questions from journalists following his presentation at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Ala. Aug. 8. (U.S. Army photo by Mark Thompson)