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Chapter 4

Concept of Operations

The chapters on required capabilities and system description detail the Wisdom Warfare architecture. It is a collection of robust, highly interconnected, smart nodes providing information flow and advice tailored by each user. Nodes and the system learn from their experience and the experience of nodes used by people in analogous situations. These features make the architecture useful throughout the spectrum of conflict and in a variety of alternate futures.

Air power must prepare to face everything from peace to full-scale war in 2025. The Wisdom Warfare architecture helps achieve that broad capability. At the operational level, the architecture provides fully fused intelligence, coordinated logistics, and a variety of courses of action. At the tactical level, it can even provide instructions to technicians. The Wisdom Warfare architecture particularly helps staffs perform their roles in support of commanders.

Personnel staffs can track the status of each person involved in a battle through computers woven into each warrior's clothing. 1 This includes information on name, rank, unit, specialty, health status, and location. Commanders can see the information at any level of organization. In addition, staffs can communicate with troops to educate them on the mission and the cultures involved.

Intelligence staffs will conduct operations in a dramatically different way when compared to today. During peacetime, the system will collect global information and intelligence staffs will construct models to forecast COAs of potential enemies. Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance data are fused with a variety of digitized maps, political factors, cultural guides, opinions from area experts, industrial data, current and forecasted weather, enemy doctrine, and objectives. As hostilities become imminent or erupt, the system will use intelligent software agents to get fused intelligence to the proper nodes that will minimize human delays during conflict. Each user will then use his forecasting and decision-making tools to turn knowledge into good decisions. Forecasting tools will also help determine where collection assets will find the most useful information so they collect data in the most efficient way.

Operations staffs also benefit from the architecture. Before conflicts, the architecture uses several models to determine the most likely enemy centers of gravity. 2 It allows operations staffs to run dozens of friendly COAs against the enemy. Plans can include a variety of force packages to respond to the scenarios. In evaluating the plans, the commander determines the criteria and weights. The architecture then evaluates the plans. For instance, criteria could include:

  • ability to achieve national objectives
  • estimate of collateral damage
  • ability to achieve theater objectives
  • time to complete the campaign
  • contribution to a better state of peace
  • logistics feasibility
  • casualties to our side
  • cost
  • casualties to the enemy

The architecture's speed will allow staffs to generate many more plans than today. This method means they can more easily pull a plan off the shelf that is analogous to a crisis when it erupts. All this helps guard against the chance of surprise and maximizes preparedness. However, air power planners should not forget the axiom of Helmuth von Moltke the elder: "No plan of operations survives the first collision with the main body of the enemy." 3

When conflict erupts, the architecture also provides fast adjustment of existing plans. Its ability to rapidly develop a variety of new COAs will be useful. Once the plans are adjusted, the architecture can automatically issue orders to deploy force packages as directed by the commander. The orders can include situation briefs, cultural briefs, and logistics instructions. The Wisdom Warfare architecture's forecasting tools and decision-making aids help manage the large amounts of information flowing in the twenty-first century battlespace.

Logistics staffs will also benefit. Like the intelligence staffs, logistics planners will spend time before conflict in building forecasting and decision-making tools. As operations plans are developed, they will automatically be fed to the logistics staffs. The decision-making tools will then help them construct the best logistics plans. In addition, materiel status-like location and serviceability will be immediately available.

Once plans are made, they will be used by all warriors. The architecture enhances war fighting by putting forecasting and decision-making tools in the warriors' hands. However, it will be just as important to have full integration of the warrior with the system. For instance, every warrior could access information by smart glasses or contact lenses and control his equipment with advanced EEGs.

The architecture provides tools to enhance knowledge and wisdom at all levels. It is best developed in peacetime by honing its operation through feedback from exercises and day-to-day operations. This is how decision makers will build confidence in the system. The architecture also aids in training and military education. 4 This is not a system that will be born in 2025. It is a system that must grow to maturity by 2025.

The US military can use the Wisdom Warfare architecture in a variety of futures and in the entire spectrum of military operations. A short story in appendix C illustrates a scenario in a low-intensity conflict in 2025. It helps create a picture of what Wisdom Warfare can do in 2025.


2025 Concept, No. 900572, "Plastic Computing," 2025 Concepts Database (Maxwell AFB, Ala.: Air War College/2025, 1996); 2025 Concept, No. 900490, "Crewman's Data Vest," 2025 Concepts Database (Maxwell AFB, Ala.: Air War College/2025, 1996); Nicholas Negroponte, "Wearable Computing," Wired, December 1995, 256.
See, for example, John Warden, "The Enemy as a System," Strategic Studies Course Book, vol. 2 (Maxwell AFB, Ala.: Air Command and Staff College, 1995), 437-452; Paul Moscarelli, "Operational Analysis: An Overview," in Strategic Studies Course Book, vol. 2, 522-530; Jason Barlow, "Strategic Paralysis: An Airpower Theory for the Present," in Strategic Studies Course Book, vol. 2, 453.
Helmuth Graf von Moltke, Moltke on the Art of War, ed. Daniel J. Hughes, trans. Daniel J. Hughes and Harry Bell (Novato, Calif.: Presidio, 1993), viii.
Kelley, 9.

Contents | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | A | B | Bibliography

Contact: Air Force 2025
Last updated: 5 December 1996