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Threat Support Directorate. TRADOC DCSINT. 1. UNCLASSIFIED. THREATS IN THE CONTEMPORARY OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT. 2. UNCLASSIFIED. OBJECTIVES. Describe the contemporary operational environment (COE). Describe the kinds of threats the US Army may face in the COE. 3.

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threats in the contemporary operational environment

UNCLASSIFIED

THREATS

IN THE CONTEMPORARY

OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

2

UNCLASSIFIED

slide3

OBJECTIVES

  • Describe the contemporary operational environment (COE).
  • Describe the kinds of threats the US Army may face in the COE.

3

slide4

OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

.

A composite of all the conditions, circumstances, and influences that affect the employment of military forces and bear on the decisions of the unit commander.

IN SHORT: The factors and variables that affect where soldiers will live, work, and fight.

4

slide5

THREAT

Any specific foreign nation or organization with intentions and military capabilities that suggest it could be adversarial or challenge the security interests of the United States, its friends, or allies.

IN SHORT: A potential adversary to the United States.

5

slide6

COLD WAROPPOSING FORCE (OPFOR)

.

An organized force created by and from U.S. army units to portray a unit of a potential adversary armed force.

AR 350-2 (1976)

6

slide7

Today’s

Army

  • Mission Focused on Soviet-Bloc Threat:
    • Soviet Union
    • Warsaw Pact
    • North Korea
    • Cuba
  • Forward-Deployed Forces Overseas
  • But We Fought Elsewhere

Cold War

Army

HOW THE ARMY HAS EVOLVED

  • Many Possible Threats
  • CONUS-Based Forces
  • Capability to Move Our Forces
  • Broad Range of Missions Worldwide
  • Mobile and Lethal Forces

The Army

of 2010

and Beyond

?

?

Bosnia

Desert Storm

Haiti

Kosovo

Panama

Somalia

7

slide8

CONTEMPORARYOPPOSING FORCE (OPFOR)

.

A plausible, flexible military and/or nonmilitary force representing a composite of varying capabilities of actual worldwide forces, used in lieu of a specific threat force, for training and developing US forces.

8

slide9

STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENT

RUSSIA

EU

BOSNIA

UNITED STATES

CHECHNYA

KOREA

CHINA

TURKEY

JAPAN

INDIA-PAKISTAN

CUBA

ALGERIA

EGYPT

MEXICO

HAITI

IRAQ IRAN

SUDAN

TAIWAN

PANAMA

COLOMBIA

SOMALIA

LIBERIA

RWANDA

BRAZIL

INDONESIA

SOUTH AFRICA

AUSTRALIA

9

slide10

ACTORS

  • Who are the actors (participants)?
    • Nation-states (countries).
    • Non-nation actors.

10

slide11

NATION-STATE ACTORS

  • Core states (major powers).
  • Transition states (want-to-be).
  • Rogue states (hostile).
  • Failed or failing states (instability).
  • Countries can switch categories.
  • Multinational alliances and coalitions.

11

slide12

NON-NATION ACTORS

  • Rogue actors:
    • Terrorist.
    • Drug-trafficking.
    • Criminal.

12

slide13

NON-NATION ACTORS (Cont)

  • Third-party actors:
    • Civilians on the battlefield.
    • International humanitarian relief organizations.

C.A.R.E.

13

slide14

NON-NATION ACTORS (Cont)

  • Media agencies.
  • Multinational corporations:
  • Information.
  • Manipulation.
  • Help transition states build infrastructure.
  • Influence regional affairs for economic gain.
  • Concern about collateral damage.
  • Armed security forces.

14

slide15

FOREIGN VIEWS OF THE US

  • Major power with overall technological advantage.
  • Avoid direct fighting and rely on air campaign and standoff technology.
  • Depend on high technology.
  • Depend on information dominance.

15

slide16

FOREIGN VIEWS OF THE US (Cont)

  • Unwilling to accept heavy losses.
  • Sensitive to domestic and world opinion.
  • Lack of commitment over time.
  • Lack of cultural awareness.
  • Conduct predictable military operations.

16

slide17

FOREIGN VIEWS OF THE US (Cont)

  • Vulnerability of coalitions.
  • Vulnerability of force projection.
  • Depend on robust logistics.
  • Rely on contractor support.
  • Downsize after conflict.

17

slide18

ASYMMETRIC WARFARE

  • Avoid your opponent’s strengths.
  • Use whatever advantages

you may have against

his weaknesses.

  • Our enemies are

not going to fight

“our kind of war.”

18

slide19

STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENT

TERRORISM

AND RISING

CRIME

GLOBAL

VILLAGE

PHENOMENA

TECHNOLOGY/

INFORMATION

AGE

ECONOMIC

DETERMINISM & DEMOGRAPHIC TENSION

ROGUE

STATES

SUB-NATIONAL

GROUPS

THREATENING

CONDITIONS

STRATEGIC

ENVIRONMENT

ALLIANCES AND

TRANSNATIONAL

GROUPS

CRITICAL

UNCERTAINTIES

ADVANCED

TECHNOLOGY/

WEAPONS

PROLIFERATION

POLITICAL

DECONFLICTION

ETHNO-

LINGUISTIC

PAN-NATIONALISM

CULTURAL/

SOCIETAL

CONCERNS

DIMINISHED

EFFECTS

OF TIME

AND SPACE

MULTIPOLAR

REGIONAL

POWER

CENTERS

INCREASED

RISK

19

slide20

CRITICAL VARIABLES

Operational

Environment

Nature & Stability of the State

Information

Economics

Technology

Makeup of Population

Alliances & Coalitions

Military Capabilities

Time

National Will

Physical

Environment

External Organizations

20

slide21

PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT

  • Military forces are optimized for certain environments.
  • Less complex and open environments favor the US.
  • Enemies will try to use urban environments and other complex terrain to their advantage.

21

slide22

NATURE AND STABILITYOF THE STATE

  • How strong or how shaky.
  • Where the real strength is.
  • Who is in charge.
  • Nature and aims of military campaign.
  • Kinds of threat present.

22

slide23

MAKEUP OF POPULATION

  • Cultural, religious, ethnic.
  • Failed and failing states.
  • Devotion to a cause.
  • Refugees and displaced persons.
  • Urban environments (cities).

23

slide24

ALLIANCES AND COALITIONS

  • Political, economic, military, or cultural.
  • Regional or global.
  • Opponents can influence our coalitions.
  • Add to military capability and broaden scale of military operations.
  • Unpredictability.
  • Nonaligned states.

24

slide25

MILITARY CAPABILITIES

  • The most critical and most complex factor.
  • Foreign views:
    • US has overall technological advantage.
    • Others use this as guide to optimizing their own capabilities and negating ours.
  • Conventional against local or regional actors.
  • Adaptive (asymmetric) when US becomes involved.

25

slide26

MILITARY CAPABILITIES (Cont)

  • Conventional:
    • US has significant advantage.
    • Head-to-head fight unlikely until they develop …
    • High-end forces may have equality or temporary superiority.
  • Adaptive (Asymmetric):
    • Exploit US weaknesses.
    • Technological surprise.
    • Deliberate or opportunity-driven.

26

slide27

INFORMATION

  • Information-based society and information technology.
    • Computers.
    • Other information systems.
  • Information warfare.
    • Information systems attack.
    • Psychological warfare.
    • Deception.

?

27

slide28

INFORMATION (Cont)

  • Media and global information flow.
    • Transparency (access to data).
    • Sway public and political opinion.
  • Situational awareness.
    • Home field advantage.
    • Commercial systems.
    • Human networks.

28

slide29

TECHNOLOGY

  • Symmetric capabilities.
    • Level the playing field.
    • A few systems that are more advanced.

29

slide30

TECHNOLOGY (Cont)

  • Asymmetric counters to our high-tech systems.
    • Less advanced systems in complex/urban settings.
    • Selected niche areas.
    • Low-cost, high-payoff new technologies.
    • Upgrades and hybrids.
    • Precision munitions.
  • Technological surprise.

30

slide31

EXTERNAL ORGANIZATIONS

  • International humanitarian assistance.
    • Manmade and natural disasters.
    • Disease, hunger, and poverty.

31

slide32

EXTERNAL ORGANIZATIONS(Cont)

  • Growing in influence and power.
  • Willingness to become involved in crisis situations.
  • Stated and hidden interests/objectives.
    • Favorable to US and provide assistance.
    • Adverse to US or create conflict.
    • Make mistakes.

32

slide33

NATIONAL WILL

  • People, government, and military.
  • Objectives and duration of a conflict.
  • Victory often depends on will.
  • Attack the opponent’s national will and try to preserve your own.
  • US national will as a vulnerability—a strategic center of gravity.

33

slide34

TIME

  • Time drives decision making and operations.
  • Opponents see time as being in their advantage.
  • Adjust the nature of the conflict.
  • Control US entry.
  • Dictate the tempo.
  • Outlast the US will to continue.

34

slide35

ECONOMICS

  • “Haves” and “have-nots.”
  • Economic vs military superiority.
  • Ability to buy military technology or to conduct prolonged operations.
  • Regional and global relationships can result in military or political assistance.

35

slide36

OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

Operational

Environment

  • Critical variables in operational environment.
  • Foreign views of the United States.
  • Military capabilities and threats.

36

slide37

Nation-State

Non-Nation

Adaptive (Asymmetric)

THREATS

Threat:A potential adversary to the United States.

  • Capabilities.
  • Intentions.

37

slide38

CENTRALASIANREPUBLICS

RUSSIA

TheTransition

TheUnknown

?

BOSNIA

NEWALLIANCES

HAITI

IRAQImmediateProblem

IRAN?

CUBA

Terrorism

KOSOVO

InformationWarfare

AFRICA

CounterDrugs

Proliferation

CHINAWhatNext…?(Taiwan)

Israel-

Palestinian-

Syrian

Dynamic

KOREAWorstCase

INDIAPAKISTAN

THREATS IN TODAY’S OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

Libya

SASO

MTW

SSC

38

slide39

Nation-state

Non-nation

Third-party actors

Operational

Environment

Adaptive (Asymmetric)

BOTTOM LINE

The U.S. Army must be prepared to—

  • Go into any of these operational environments.
  • Perform its full range of missions.
  • In the face of a wide variety of possible threats.
  • At same time, deal with third-party actors.

39