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British Military Transformation and Afghanistan
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  1. British Military Transformation and Afghanistan Professor Theo Farrell Dept of War Studies King’s College London

  2. 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

  3. Opportunity: socio-tech change

  4. Imperative: strategic change

  5. NCW benefits-chain Network Information Situation awareness Self-synchronization Mission effectiveness

  6. Origins of EBO

  7. Twenty days later…

  8. Human-centric warfare

  9. Advert for RMA

  10. NATO survey: responses

  11. Impact of IT

  12. Importance of NEC

  13. Future is EBAO

  14. Large formation warfare?

  15. European opinion? • A new paradigm of warfare • Network enabled & effects based • Expeditionary & medium weight

  16. Many transformation gaps • Britain: culture & cost constraints • France: strategic use • Germany: bureaucratic obstacles • Spain: rhetorical use • Romania: new narrative

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Future Combat Systems, RIP

  20. NEC evolutionary approach • Initial state (2012) • Transitional state (2017) • Mature state (2030)

  21. 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

  22. Effects based approach to operations (EBAO)

  23. 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

  24. Transforming in contact

  25. 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

  26. Clearing Central Helmand • 3 Cdo 2008 - Op SOND CHARA • 19 Bde 2009 - Op PANCHAI PALANG • 11 Bde 2010 – Op MOSHTARAK

  27. Op PANCHAI PALANG

  28. Op MOSHTARAK

  29. NEC: battefield pull

  30. EBAO in Afghanistan • soft effects and influence ops • cultural understanding • messaging: “talking our way in”

  31. Military success!

  32. 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:

  33. The shrinking force

  34. Future of FRES?

  35. Future Character of Conflict?

  36. Stuck with Mastiff and Ridgeback

  37. 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

  38. The adaptable force