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British Military Transformation and Afghanistan. Professor Theo Farrell Dept of War Studies King’s College London. US military transformation. 2001 QDR: transformation “at the heart” of a “new strategic approach” Rooted in RMA of 1990s

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British Military Transformation and Afghanistan

Professor Theo Farrell

Dept of War Studies

King’s College London


US military transformation

  • 2001 QDR: transformation “at the heart” of a “new strategic approach”

  • Rooted in RMA of 1990s

  • Transformation = technology + new concepts and organization

  • Core concepts: NCW and EBO


Opportunity: socio-tech change


Imperative: strategic change


NCW benefits-chain

Network

Information

Situation awareness

Self-synchronization

Mission effectiveness


Origins of EBO


Twenty days later…


Human-centric warfare


Advert for RMA


NATO survey: responses


Impact of IT


Importance of NEC


Future is EBAO


Large formation warfare?


European opinion?

  • A new paradigm of warfare

  • Network enabled & effects based

  • Expeditionary & medium weight


Many transformation gaps

  • Britain: culture & cost constraints

  • France: strategic use

  • Germany: bureaucratic obstacles

  • Spain: rhetorical use

  • Romania: new narrative


British military transformation

Must “move away from simplistic platform-centric planning, to a fully ‘network-enabled capability’ able to exploit effects-based planning and operations, using forces which are truly adaptable, capable of even greater precision and rapidly deployable”

Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon

Defence White Paper 2003


Network Enabled Capability

  • NEC “at the heart of our transformation.”

  • NEC = “the coherent integration of sensors, decision-makers, weapon systems and support capabilities to achieve the desired effect”

    DWP 2003


Future Combat Systems, RIP


NEC evolutionary approach

  • Initial state (2012)

  • Transitional state (2017)

  • Mature state (2030)


Acquiring NEC

  • NEC embedded across the equip plan: in 60% of 500+ projects

  • Key progs: DII, BOWMAN, SKYNET 5,

  • Transforming battlespace and business space

  • DSTL study on NCW benefits-chain: human element


Effects based approach to operations (EBAO)


National Strategic Aim/

National Strategic Objectives

Governance

DC 2

Operational End-state

Create the security conditions that enable:

Lasting peace in which the threat of violence and civil war has been curtailed

Country ‘X’ to generate mature political structures, supported by reliable infrastructure and governance, providing prosperity and security for all its people.

Self-Governance Established

DC 1

Interim Governance Provided

Security

Political Process

DC 3

DC 4

Secure Environment Maintained

DC 6

Self-Sustaining Security Established

Elected Government Empowered

Operational

Centre of

Gravity

Reconstruction

DC 5

DC 7

DC 8

(Ability to

Govern)

Electoral Process Reformed

Sustained Infrastructure Established

Key Infrastructure Restored


Transforming in contact


British campaign, 2006-2008

  • 16 bde: ‘inkspot’ to platoon house

  • 3 cdo: chasing the Taliban

  • 12 mech: big sweeps

  • 52 bde: ‘clear, hold, build’

  • 16 bde: Kajaki Dam


Clearing Central Helmand

  • 3 Cdo 2008 - Op SOND CHARA

  • 19 Bde 2009 - Op PANCHAI PALANG

  • 11 Bde 2010 – Op MOSHTARAK


Op PANCHAI PALANG


Op MOSHTARAK


NEC: battefield pull


EBAO in Afghanistan

  • soft effects and influence ops

  • cultural understanding

  • messaging: “talking our way in”


Military success!


Ouch! The 2010 SDSR

  • CSR 2010: real cut 8% over 4 yrs

  • Most cuts in 2013-15

  • Inherited overspend £38 bn

  • Def expenditure as % GDP:


The shrinking force


Future of FRES?


Future Character of Conflict?


Stuck with Mastiff and Ridgeback


The adaptable posture

  • More than a buzz word?

  • CT, cyber, and natural disasters

  • Adaptable in Afghanistan:

    - deliver range of civil effects in non-permissive environments

    - secure and stabilise for civilian partners


The adaptable force


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