Type Commander’s Amphibious Training (TCAT) 20-1


U.S. Marines with 2nd Transportation Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, work with Sailors from Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) 69 and 53, assigned to Assault Craft Unit 4, to load equipment on to the LCAC during Type Commander’s Amphibious Training (TCAT) 20-1 at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Oct. 25, 2019.

The purpose of TCAT is to increase naval integration and preparation for real-world contingency operations.



Video by Lance Cpl. Fatima Villatoro

2nd Marine Logistics Group

The Upward Trend of Global Arms Sales 2018


By defenceWeb

Sales of arms and military services by the sector’s largest 100 companies (excluding those in China) were up by 4.6% in 2018 compared to the previous year, totalling $420 billion, according to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The new data from SIPRI’s Arms Industry Database shows that sales of arms and military services by companies listed in the Top 100 have increased by 47 per cent since 2002 (the year from which comparable data is first available). The database excludes Chinese companies due to the lack of data to make a reliable estimate, SIPRI said on Monday.

For the first time since 2002, the top five spots in the ranking are held exclusively by arms companies based in the United States: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and General Dynamics. These five companies alone accounted for $148 billion and 35% of total Top 100 arms sales in 2018. Total arms sales of US companies in the ranking amounted to $246 billion, equivalent to 59% of all arms sales by the Top 100. This is an increase of 7.2% compared with 2017, according to SIPRI data.

A key development in the US arms industry in 2018 was the growing trend in consolidations among some of the largest arms producers. For example, two of the top five, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics, made multibillion-dollar acquisitions in 2018.

“US companies are preparing for the new arms modernization programme that was announced in 2017 by President Trump,” said Aude Fleurant, Director of SIPRI’s Arms and Military Expenditure Programme. “Large US companies are merging to be able to produce the new generation of weapon systems and therefore be in a better position to win contracts from the US Government.”

The combined arms sales of the ten Russian companies in the 2018 ranking were $36.2 billion—a marginal decrease of 0.4% on 2017. Their share of total Top 100 arms sales fell from 9.7% in 2017 to 8.6% in 2018. This can be explained by the higher Top 100 total in 2018 due to the substantial growth in the combined arms sales of US and European companies.

Among the 10 Russian companies listed in the Top 100, the trends are mixed: five companies recorded an increase in arms sales, while the other five showed a decrease. Russia’s largest arms producer, Almaz-Antey, was the only Russian company ranked in the top 10 (at 9th position) and accounted for 27% of the total arms sales of Russian companies in the Top 100. Almaz-Antey’s arms sales rose by 18% in 2018, to $9.6 billion.

The combined arms sales of the 27 European companies in the Top 100 increased marginally in 2018, to $102 billion. Arms sales by companies based in the UK fell by 4.8%, to $35.1 billion, but remained the highest in Europe. BAE Systems (ranked 6th) is the world’s largest arms producer outside of the USA. Its arms sales dropped by 5.2% in 2018, to $21.2 billion.

The combined arms sales of French companies in the Top 100 were the second highest in Europe, at $23.2 billion. “The overall growth in arms sales of the six French companies in the SIPRI Top 100 was mainly the result of a 30% increase in sales by combat aircraft producer Dassault Aviation,” said Diego Lopes da Silva, Researcher for SIPRI’s Arms and Military Expenditure Programme.

The total combined sales of the four German arms-producing companies in the ranking fell by 3.8%. “An increase in deliveries of military vehicles by Rheinmetall, the largest arms company based in Germany, were offset by a drop in sales by shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp,” said Pieter D. Wezeman, Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Arms and Military Expenditure Programme.

Eighty of the 100 top arms producers in 2018 were based in the USA, Europe and Russia. Of the remaining 20, six were based in Japan, three in Israel, India and South Korea, respectively, two in Turkey and one each in Australia, Canada and Singapore.

The combined arms sales of the six Japanese companies remained relatively stable in 2018. At $9.9 billion, they accounted for 2.4% of the Top 100 total.

The three Israeli companies’ arms sales of $8.7 billion accounted for 2.1% of the Top 100 total. Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael all increased their arms sales in 2018.

The combined arms sales of the three Indian arms companies listed in the Top 100 were $5.9 billion in 2018—a decrease of 6.9% on 2017. The decline is mainly a result of Indian Ordnance Factory’s significant 27% drop in arms sales.

The three companies based in South Korea had combined arms sales of $5.2 billion in 2018, equivalent to 1.2% of the Top 100 total. Their collective arms sales in 2018 were 9.9% higher than in 2017. Bucking the trend, however, was LIG Nex1, whose sales fell by 17% in 2018. The shipbuilder DSME, which was ranked in 2017, dropped out of the Top 100 in 2018.

Arms sales by Turkish companies listed in the Top 100 increased by 22% in 2018, to $2.8 billion. Turkey aims to develop and modernize its arms industry and Turkish companies continued to benefit from these efforts in 2018.

This article was published by defenceWeb on December 9, 2019.

The featured photo shows Ex-US RG33s heading to Egypt.



President Macron’s Economist Interview: Reactions and Implications


In the United States, we have tweeting Trump and the impeaching House of Representatives; in Europe they have Macronite.

We have had and continue to have a significant deluge of comments on President Trump and his approach to foreign policy with little that has a positive tinge to it; but what about Macronite?

How positive or significant is this for shaping the second creation of the West?

The first creation was lead by the United States after World War II with the laying down of the rules based order; the Post-Cold War period was more or less acting on the belief that the collapse of the Soviet Union allowed those rules of the game to be extended East.

But in fact, little noticed was the rise of 21st century authoritarian capitalist powers who were key anchors of globalization and have woven themselves into the fabric of the liberal democratic societies.

With the 21st century authoritarian powers working to write the rules of the game going forward rather than reinforcing the rules based order, what should and can the Western liberal democracies do?

In his recent interview with The Economist,the President of the Republic provided his answer and having done so, he deserves a serious examination of whether or not that resets the effort in a manner that can lead the way ahead.

He certainly has provided a wide-ranging analysis of the current situation; but does the Macronite approach going forward provide a realistic way ahead to deal with the current crises?

For a report looking at the Macron in interview and some of the issues raised by the President in his wide-ranging interview, see the following:

President Macron

For an e-book version of the report, see the following:


Robotic Systems

Two autonomous Australian Army M113 AS4 armoured vehicles conducted fire and manoeuvre training demonstrations alongside crewed vehicles, UAS and ground robots to Department of Defence senior leadership at the Majura Training Area, ACT, on Thursday 31 October 2019.

The demonstration showcased the potential for robotic and autonomous systems to enhance Army’s capabilities on operations.

Australian Department of Defence

November 1, 2019

Remembering Finnish Independence Day: December 6


We want to remember our Finnish allies and their day of independence.

And that allows a chance to remember that most remarkable of Finns, C.G.E. Mannerheim.

In an article by Timo Vihavainen, a Finnish historian and professor emeritus of Russian Studies at the University of Helsinki, first published in February 2005, updated June 2017, the career of Mannerheim was reviewed.

C.G.E. Mannerheim (1867–1951) charted the course of Finnish history and was voted greatest Finn of all time.

He served in the Russian Imperial Army for decades, and later became a war hero in his home country of Finland. He was the symbol of the Finnish struggle against Soviet Russia during the Winter War of 1939–1940. He was hailed as a champion of liberty throughout the Western world during those 105 days of stubborn resistance against a vastly superior enemy.

This was not the first time that the stately representative of Finland’s Swedish-speaking aristocracy had been supreme commander in a war against Russia.

The War of Liberation in 1918 – later also called the Civil War – had been fought against Soviet Russia and against its allies, the Finnish “Reds.” And the Winter War was not the last war Mannerheim fought against Russia, either.

The period of combat known as the Continuation War, 1941 to 1944, during which German forces fought alongside the Finnish army, exacted a much heavier toll on Finland and Russia than the Winter War had.

Moreover, during the Continuation War, Finnish forces even advanced into Russian territory with the intention of annexing Eastern Karelia, a region which had never belonged to Finland.

Admittedly, Finnish policy towards the Russians and Finland’s methods of warfare substantially differed from those of the Germans. Finland declined to launch a ground attack or a bombing attack on Leningrad, despite German pressure to do so.

Mannerheim spent no less than 30 years in Russia, mostly in Saint Petersburg, serving in the Russian Imperial Army.

During this period he not only reached the rank of lieutenant general and was appointed commander of the Cavalry Corps of the Imperial Army, he was also known personally to the emperor and became a member of his suit

Mannerheim’s record as a soldier was impressive. He fought for Russia on the battle front in both the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05 and in the First World War between 1914 and 1917. General Mannerheim was decorated with the St George’s Cross for gallantry and was famous for his military skill and efficacy.

Mannerheim was also an able sportsman whose horsemanship won prizes. This was evidently one of the reasons why he was chosen for the formidable task of undertaking a reconnaissance mission, on horseback through Asia, that lasted two years.

You could add courteous manners to the list of Mannerheim’s merits. This contributed to the progress of the young cavalry officer in high society and at the imperial court itself.

A non-Russian officer in the Imperial Army was no rarity. In fact, there were thousands of them. Many of these inorodtsy or “non-orthodox” subjects of the emperor serving in the Russian army came from the Baltic provinces, spoke German as their mother tongue and were Lutheran by religion, as was Mannerheim.

However, Mannerheim’s background differed from that of his Baltic brother officers. He came from the Grand Duchy of Finland, which sent more than 4,000 officers to serve in the Russian army between 1809 and 1917. Almost 400 of them reached the rank of general or admiral.

Most of the officers from Finland spoke Swedish as their mother tongue, Finnish being used mainly as a second language, if they knew it at all. Mannerheim’s Finnish before 1917 was far from fluent.

However, in common with the Baltic German officers, the Finnish officers served the emperor impeccably. In fact, there are no records of disloyalty among the Finns, even during the period from 1899 to 1917 when Russia began to pressure Finland by undermining its juridical status. In lieu of disloyalty, some of the officers chose to retire from active service.

Mannerheim did not retire. He remained a faithful soldier even though he privately deplored the emperor’s policies, which he regarded as unwise. Even when his own brother was exiled to Sweden, Mannerheim’s loyalty to the emperor remained unshaken. His relatives understood his position.

It was only when the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 crushed the old order that Mannerheim realised his ties of loyalty to Russia had been cut. After the revolution he became a champion of the White Finnish cause.

His loyalty towards his native land was now total and he always respected its democratic institutions even though he was hardly a true democrat by conviction.

Mannerheim’s career in the service of two states is an intriguing story that excites curiosity. To Russians, Mannerheim is above all the cultivated young officer of the Chevalier Guards who stood by Nicholas II during coronation procession.

In Finnish eyes Mannerheim stands tall as the elderly marshal, a man of honour and a fatherly figure whose moral integrity and intelligence could always be trusted

And in an article we published last year prior to the Trump/Putin meeting in Helsinki, we looked back at Finnish history and what lessons these two leaders might take away from that history.

Presidents Putin and Trump will meet soon in Helsinki.  At a time of uncertainty in the US-Russia relationship, the meeting is an important step forward in clarifying that relationship, one that should be not reduced to a Trump tweet or a Putin chess move.

Where it is being held is significant. Helsinki was part of the Russian empire for a century. It is now a century since the Finns have been independent, but always in the context of East-West realities. During the Cold War, “Finlandization” became a term of art for how smaller country could retain its independence on internal matters by bowing to a larger neighbor on international affairs.

Finland become independent as a result of World War I and the Russian revolution. If one visits Helsinki, the similarities to Saint Petersburg — just five hours away by car (or tank) — are obvious. And in the wake of the Russian revolution, Finland had its own civil war, its own clash of “Whites” against the “Reds,” with legendary Finnish leader Carl Mannerheimcommanding the German-backed Whites.

After withdrawing from Finnish politics, General Mannerheim would return to lead the fight in the famous “Winter War” against the invading Russians, who poured in more forces than the Western allies later did on D-Day. Amazingly, the Finns not only resisted but destroyed the initial forces which invaded Finland.  As the Western Alliance would fail to stop the Nazis, however, they would fail Finland as well.

And when the Nazis took Western Europe, including Norway, the Finns bowed to realpolitik and worked with them to do a dangerous dance with them to keep the Russians at bay.  What Finns call the Continuation War followed the Winter War, and the core ally of Finland in the Continuation War was Nazi Germany.

But the American leaders, working behind the scenes with Mannerheim and the Finnish leadership, de facto cut a deal with the Finns to not attack the supply lines coming through the North into Russia.  While the UK declared war on Finland, the US did not.  This was an enlightened move which provided flexibility for both the United States and Finland going forward.

The letter which Mannerheim sent to Adolf Hitler when leaving the war in fall 1944 highlights a core principle important to Finns and to any nation worthy of calling itself a nation – emphasized the absolute imperative to preserve the Finnish people and the Finnish nation. It read in part:

“In this hour of hard decisions, I’m impelled to inform you that I’ve arrived at the conviction that the salvation of my nation makes it my duty to find a means of ending the war…

“The Russian’s great assaults in June exhausted our reserves. We cannot expose ourselves to another such bloodletting without the whole future of the small Finnish nation being jeopardized.

“I wish specially to emphasize that Germany will live on even if fate should not crown your arms with victory. Nobody could give such assurance regarding Finland. If that nation of barely four million were militarily defeated, there can be little doubt that will be driven into exile or exterminated. I cannot expose my people to such a fate.”

It is clear that the Finns have not forgotten their history and are seeking today to protect themselves against the Russian actions in Europe.  To do so, they are pursuing a strong relationship with Europe through the European Union, which it joined in 1995, adopting the common currency in 1999; enhanced regional cooperation with their Nordic neighbors, as we’ve covered in depth before; increased cooperation with NATO, contributing to operations in the Balkans and Afghanistan; and strong relationships with the United States and the United Kingdom, even as both countries faced significant domestic change.

What might President Putin learn from the Finns?

Above all, stop threatening the Baltic States for all that does is drive the Finns and the Nordics into a closer relationship both with each other and with NATO.  The Russians complain about Finnish and Nordic action, but they have only themselves to thank.

President Putin might stand in front of the famous statue to Alexander II in the center of Helsinki and remember the Finns erected it, not simply to remember an important reformer, but to protest the reactionary policies of his successor Alexander III.  The Russians cast a long shadow, and Putin may be trying to make Russia Great Again through old-fashioned hardball tactics, but it is at the expense of fundamental interests which could be better served by Russian reform and reworking his relationship with the West.

For his part, President Trump might reflect on his meeting with the Finnish President when he butchered his name, while the Finns did not care in their happiness that that their President met the US President.  He might learn from the Finns that European security is not simply Germany and defense spending percentages; it is about the professional working relationship among the militaries and how Western solidarity has been built despite political differences.  He might learn as well that for smaller countries, organizations like the European Union play an important role alongside NATO.

As the Finns consider how to augment their defense capabilities, it is important for President Trump to consider how a smaller nation looks at their strategic position. He would do well to learn from the subtler approach followed by Secretary Hall and President Roosevelt during World War II.

As I stood in front of the Finnish defense ministry this past February, I know what I learned looking at the very powerful statue honoring the Finnish people for their resistance to Stalin and his dictatorship: The Finns love their nation and will risk their lives to defend it. Both Putin and Trump need to remember that.

This article was published by Breaking Defense on July 11, 2018.

Newcatle 500

The Royal Australian Navy, Australian Regular Army and the Royal Australian Air Force joined forces at the Newcastle 500 – Supercars 22-24 November, to showcase Australian Defence Force (ADF) capabilities through technology and teamwork.

A RAAF F/A-18A Classic Hornet from Number 77 Squadron based at RAAF Base Williamtown performed an adrenaline pumping aerial display and a flypast over Pit Straight before the main race on both days over the weekend.

At the ‘ADF ground precinct’, Supercar fans tested their skills as an Air Force fast-jet pilot at the Air Force Simulator Experience, plus browsed through Defence capability displays featuring Team Army’s project car and street machines.

The Australian Army Band Newcastle provided roving entertainment, and for young people considering a career in the ADF, Defence Force Recruiting career staff were on hand with information and resources to get career journeys started.

ADF participation in the Newcastle 500 – Supercars provided the opportunity to showcase local Defence capabilities and importantly highlight the dedication and commitment of our ADF men and women who serve at home and abroad on operations.

Australian Department of Defence

November 25, 2019

Finland Participates in NATO Cyber Coalition 2019 Exercise


In an article published by the Finnish Ministry of Defence on December 5, 2019, the engagement of Finland in the NATO Cyber Coalition 2019 Exercise was highlighted.

Finland participated as a partner country in NATO’s Cyber Coalition 2019 exercise. Held in Tartu on 2 to 6 December, the exercise is an annual event that was organised for the ninth time.

In addition to NATO and the EU, 27 NATO member countries took part as well as a number of partner countries.

The purpose of the cyber defence exercise was to strengthen international and national cooperation and interoperability to respond to various cyber incidents.

Finland was represented by the Ministry of Defence and the Defence Forces that were supported by cooperating authorities.

In a recent article by Jean-Louis Gergorin and Léo Isaac-Dognin the central importance of the cyber dimension of defense and security was highlighted for both NATO and European defense.

Cyberspace encompasses all the global hardware and software means of storing, processing and transporting bits and bytes, but also, and most critically, all the information-content of that data.

Cyberwarfare is the offensive use of these multiple components with the purpose of exerting influence or control over an adversary.

Practically speaking, it can take the form of hacks that seek to compromise the confidentiality or integrity of digital systems for the purpose of espionage or sabotage, but also of assaults on the integrity of the information sphere, such as the mass dissemination of fake, biased or incomplete information through digital media.

To cite only a few examples, the disruption and partial destruction of Iranian centrifuges by the Stuxnet malware in 2010, the North Korean-led hack of Sony Pictures in 2014, the mailbox hacks of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the targeted social media propaganda operation orchestrated over the course of 2016 by a constellation of Russian-affiliated actors (most prominently, Russian military intelligence and the Saint Petersburg based Internet Research Agency), and, last but not least, the WannaCry and NotPetya attacks of 2017 have all made for headline-grabbing news.

Far from being isolated events, such operations are increasingly part of integrated strategies that seek to undermine an opponent by acting under the threshold of open warfare.

At this early stage of cyber competition, there are clear winners and losers. China and Russia were quick to recognise and experiment with the asymmetric opportunities of cyberspace.

China first specialised in the cyber theft of western intellectual property assets. Today, its leaders see digital technology as a major way towards global economic leadership.

Russia, for its part, has made cyber operations a key component of what it considers its legitimate response to western attacks on its sovereignty and sphere of influence. Following a string of events that range from endorsements of the “colour revolutions” by American officials and US-based NGOs to the enactment of economic sanctions against Russia, Moscow saw in cyber-attacks an opportunity to hit western countries at their weakest point while remaining below the threshold of open warfare.

Smaller actors, namely Iran and North Korea, have also recognised the extent to which cyber operations can transform an unfavourable balance of power.

Iran’s response to the Stuxnet attack is most telling: within the space of two years after discovering the US-Israeli malware, Iran was able to mount a series of incursions on US financial institutions that completely inhibited President Obama from further cyber offensive actions.

After two decades of overconfidence in their cyber intelligence collection, US officials were alarmed to discover foreign actors’ proficiency in hacking into their critical infrastructure, and completely caught by surprise by the information attacks that took place during the 2016 presidential campaign.

That said, the United States has come a long way since 2017, bolstering its defensive and offensive doctrine and capacities in cyberspace, to the point of pre-emptively knocking IRA servers offline in the run up to the 2018 midterm elections, and ensuring an increasingly active ‘forward’ presence on foreign networks to defend its own critical infrastructure.

Similarly it has been revealed by Reuters on October 16th that at the end of September a US cyberattack targeted the Iranian digital propaganda apparatus.

Our Old Continent, however, remains a step behind on both fronts. Europe has struggled to weigh in coherently against “digital powers”, whether they be states or private enterprises,and several EU Member States have already faced serious challenges to their electoral processes and wider security in cyberspace.

And according to a Financial Times article by Jim Brunsden, the Finns have been key players in one might call the coalition of the willing to drive forward on more cyber defense capabilities within the European Union.

The EU will conduct war-games to prepare for any cyber attacks in a sign of the bloc’s determination to increase co-operation against Russian and Chinese meddling.

Pekka Haavisto, Finland’s foreign minister, told reporters on Thursday that several practical exercises would be organised by Helsinki after it assumes the EU’s rotating presidency on July 1, including programmes involving the bloc’s finance and home affairs ministers. 

While EU defence ministers have already participated in such simulations, Helsinki believes that the range of “hybrid threats” that the bloc now faces — covering everything from fake news to cyber theft and attacks against critical IT systems — requires exercises with wider participation.  “We want the union and member states to strengthen their capacities to prevent and respond,” Mr Haavisto said.

“Military and civilian authorities can only do in times of crisis what they have been trained for.”

The featured photo: The Finnish initiative will bolster an existing EU push to tackle cyber security failings after high-profile attacks exposed weaknesses in the bloc’s electronic defences and networks for sharing warnings of breaches © Tanaonte/Dreamstime

Remembering Pearl Harbor in 2019: Anticipating Tactical and Strategic Surprise

By Robbin Laird

One way to remember December 7, 1941 is to go back to the actual day and recall the events.

December 7, 1941 dawned an ordinary Sunday for now-retired Lt. James “Jim” Downing and hearing his recount of the day is a very important way to remember the Day of Infamy.

Remembering Pearl Harbor from SldInfo.com on Vimeo.

Another way to remember is thinking through how to prepare for and anticipate tactical and strategic surprise.

Obviously, a surprise is just that, not something which you anticipate.

But the much used term for what the military is seeking to become is more agile, and certainly, agility is precisely having an ability to contemplate that tactical and strategic surprises are going to happen.

And how you respond, and how you think about response is crucial to overcoming whatever the initial effects come from a tactical or strategic surprise.

In a 2011 article, I argued the case for sharping a much more agile military, the one I would now label the integrated distributed force, precisely because of the certainty of strategic and tactical surprise.

The US is in a strategic upheaval over the nature of its futures and what future capabilities will remain after Afghanistan and the budget dynamics. 

A key element to keep in mind – if the US wants to remain a strategic player globally – is how to rebuild its power projection forces. 

But it is clear that it is not an old understanding of power project we are discussing but a fundamental transition of forces for projecting power for strategic dominance to a core competence to deploy agile forces to deal with black swans.

Black Swans are Remaking the Notion of What Kind of Power Projection Forces the US Will Need in the Decade Ahead Credit Image; Bigstock

In the past two years, US forces have deployed to earthquakes, tsunamis, pick up wars, counter-piracy ops and a variety of impact points which could not have been planned in advance. 

At the center of every response were agile commands, agile forces and agile capabilities.  The difficulty is that every response to a Black Swan further degrades the remaining capabilities. 

Operations drain the remaining capability of deployed assets.  Leaders love to use the tools, but not to pay for their replacements.

It is more likely that Black Swans will continue to dominate our future, not 5-year Gosplans and insights from Commissions.  To be ready for Black Swans you need agility. 

Agile commands such as have built around the TACC, or the MEU structure are essential.  More flexible command and control as used by the French or the USMC in the recent Libyan engagement.

Agile forces such as the Agile Response Group built around the newly enabled Amphibious Ready Group. 

This is the building block for the future, not simply maintaining a legacy fleet with “geriatric” capabilities. 

The new force structure built around leveraging new platforms can provide the needed agility.

The author of the Black Swan underscored that key impediment to learning is that we focus excessively on what we do know and that we tend to focus on the precise. We are not ready for the unexpected.   For the author, the rare event equals uncertainty.

He argued that the extreme event as the starting point in knowledge not the reverse.

The author in the concluding parts of his second edition advocated redundancy as a core capability necessary for the kind of agile response one needs in a Black Swan Age.

The Black Swan: The Second Edition by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Random House).

A recent statement by the Africom Commander that the Libyan operations were sui generis and not relevant to the future of warfare is a case in point of a guy who does not get it; the unexpected introduces change, one needs to embrace it and not conclude that THAT unexpected event is the norm, rather the response necessary to deal with the unexpected is what needs to be focused upon for force planners.

The key conclusion here is rather simple: we need to rebuilt our forces to be MORE agile, with more flexible C4ISR D and more flexible expectations of what engagements we are about to engage in. 

And shaping plug and play capability with allies and partners becomes SIGNIFICANTLY more important in the period ahead.

And having significantly SCALEABILITY with regard to one’s forces would be a core advantage in responding to Black Swans.  As an event emerges, the National

Command Authority responds with what make sense to them. 

But then the situation evolves and the forces sent appear to be inadequate or the wrong ones. 

The deployed force can reach up and out to scale a response. 

And those forces can depart as new ones come.

One could easily argue that this will not happen the legacy systems which the US fights with have way to many stovepipes for agility, connectivity and coalition operations.

The featured photo was taken from the following source:


For an interesting look at strategic surprise, see the following:


For a CIA analysis of how intelligence needs to improve its approach to dealing with strategic surprise, see the following:


And to follow up on my 2011 article, arguing for enhanced military agility, see my recent look at the amphibious task force as precisely enabling such a path:

Rethinking the Amphibious Task Force: Digital Interoperability and the Transformation of USMC Aviation