ΠΟΛΕΜΙΚΗ ΑΕΡΟΠΟΡΙΑ ΗΠΑ 2025
Lt Gen Jay W. Kelley
Commander, Air University
Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
2025 Support Office
Air Education and Training Command
Air University Press
Educational Services Directorate
College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research, and Education
Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
Εικόνες από το οχι και τόσο μακρινό μέλλον της Πολεμικής Αεροπορίας κι όχι μόνον.
Το μέλλον της κυριαρχίας των ουρανών ανήκει στα ενοποιημένα πληροφοριακά συστήματα με εξωτικές δυνατότητες όπως δημιουργία και προβολή εικονικών κόσμων και ορατών η αοράτων καταστάσεων, πλήρη ενσωμάτωση της τεχνολογίας διαχείρησης του καιρού, ενεργειακά υπερόπλα, σμήνη μικρο και νανοδορυφόρων με εξωτικές λειτουργίες και άλλα.
Ακολουθούν αποσπάσματα απο την τελική μελέτη των 3000 σελίδων και τα λίνκς για όσους ενδιαφέρονται για τα πλήρη κείμενα. (τονισμός απο “πλοηγός”)
2025 is a study designed to comply with a directive from the chief of staff of the Air Force to examine the concepts, capabilities, and technologies the United States will require to remain the dominant air and space force in the future.
Τhis report was produced in the Department of Defense school environment of academic freedom and in the interest of advancing concepts related to national defense.
The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Air Force, Department of Defense, or the United States government.
Τhis report contains fictional representations of future situations/scenarios. Any similarities to real people or events, other than those specifically cited, are unintentional and are for purposes of illustration only.
This publication has been reviewed by security and policy review authorities, is unclassified, and is cleared for public release.
Part 1 The Charge and the Findings
Chapter 1 Introduction
Many things have changed since the United States entered World War II on the wings of airmen. The challenges we face today are more complex. The lead times are longer, the time of engagements shorter, the numbers of airmen and airplanes smaller, the systems more complicated, missiles more prevalent, and a reliance on space-based assets common. Precision, range, lethality, speed, and versatility are all greater than in the past. Such change will continue and could make today as unfamiliar to future airmen as the past is to today’s military personnel.
Preparing now for the military challenges of the twenty-first century is central to our national security. Key to preserving the future security of the US are the integration of information technologies with air and space capabilities and the connectivity for distributed, demand-driven systems. Having these capabilities helps produce what we call the “Vigilant Edge.” That is a condition of advantage, of watchful superiority, in using air and space power to help preserve the nation and protect our interests.
While the full range of issues, technologies, systems, and concepts of operations is much greater than suggested in this summary, several trends characterize much of our preparation for 2025. These trends involve shifts in relative emphasis in the following areas:
Humans will move from being more “in the cockpit” to being more “in the loop;”
The medium for Air Force operations will move from the air and space toward space and air;
Development responsibilities for critical technologies and capabilities will move from government toward industry; and influence increasingly will be exerted by information more than by bombs.
Each or all of these evolutions may have dramatic or even revolutionary effects. Even so, these trends are unavoidable. One other important observation emerged. Although not of the same type as the others, it affects them all and is just as important, if not dominant. Smart systems and uncertain futures require “brilliant warriors.”
Thus, we must improve how we prepare ourselves mentally as well as technologically. Unless this change occurs, the course and direction of the other changes may not work to our advantage. Military education will move from being rigid to responsive. To maintain dominance in air and space in 2025, we must make choices now on how to invest for the future. These are the general directions and areas of emphasis which characterize the next 30 years for the USAF.
Chapter 2 What We Did And Why
Long range planning does not deal with future decisions, but with the future of present decisions.
We conducted a year-long study at Air University during 1995-96 to answer the question: What capabilities should the USAF have in 2025 to help defend the nation? The 2025 effort was begun at the direction of the chief of staff of the US Air Force, Gen Ronald R. Fogleman. His charge was to “generate ideas and concepts on the capabilities the United States will require to possess the dominant air and space force in the future.” Ultimately, the study involved the following:
More than 200 participants–students and faculty from the Air Command and Staff College and Air War College–and a support staff at Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base (AFB), Alabama;
Fifteen scientists and technologists who formed an operations analysis team at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio;
Cadets at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and at AFROTC detachments nationwide;
More than 70 guest speakers, including Alvin Toffler, Adm William Owens, Kevin Kelly, Andrew Marshall, Dennis Meadows, Martin van Creveld, and Fritz Ermath among a host of others, including experts on creativity and critical thinking; science fiction writers and movie producers; scientists discussing swarming insects, communication capabilities, advances in energy; experts in propulsion systems; military historians; international relations specialists, and others;
Groups of outside advisors and assessors, both military and civilian, who sought to evaluate the concepts as they were developed and refined;
A survey of retired general officers asking for their insights and opinions; and
More than 2,000 contributors from around the world who participated as contributors to web sites and internet dialogues.
The body of the report, detailed in the white paper summaries of 41 papers on various topics, consisted of more than 3,300 pages of text.
The methodology of the study itself–search multiple sources of data and concepts, create a system to harvest ideas, connect diverse players, continuous review, selection and integration of data flows, and cross talk on virtual and actual communication nets–created a self-servicing, rapidly adapting system for learning and for knowing. The combination of operators and scientists in an environment which encouraged maverick thinking was a powerful means to envision future capabilities. How the 2025 study was conducted is instructive in its own right.
Some comments on what we did not do may also be in order. We did not compare existing systems with hypothetical ones. The difficulties in comparing real airplanes with “paper” ones are many, and our charge did not require that we do so. Though important for the future, we were not tasked to identify future roles and missions or the organizational changes required to maximize capabilities in 2025. While some comments along these lines may exist, this too was not a part of our charge. Though we recognize that the single biggest problem for the utilization of space lies more in “getting there” than in talking about “being there,” we did not solve the space lift problem. We did identify an alternative space lift system, but this is, at best, a transition. To assess future requirements based on both the world of 2025 and the emerging technologies in the next 30 years, this study attempted to avoid the existing and focus on the emergent–to color “outside the box.” Its purpose was to help shape an air force which could maintain a dominant air and space force in 2025. Its results may be controversial, but they should be. There are no guarantees that our findings are correct. But we will be more knowledgeable for having made the effort. Thirty years is a long way off and just around the corner–it all depends on one’s point of view. Forecasting is a perilous art. Critical elements in the process are our assumptions and how we think we need to plan for a future that we can only barely conceive of now. The problems in forecasting are several. First, one runs the risk of assuming that because we can do something, we will. In this case technology drives planning, not the reverse. Second, we straight-jacket the future with today’s assumptions. That is, we focus on an array of problems and possibilities that are too narrow compared to the array we actually will encounter. A third problem is the reverse of the previous one. Here, we are too expansive and imagine far more than we or the world are in fact capable of accomplishing in the time frame under review. All three faults may exist in the white papers in this study. But there is value in doing the exercise even if some of the details are wrong.
Chapter 3 What We Learned
If we should have to fight, we should be prepared to do so from the neck up instead of from the neck down.
The acid test of 2025 is not how much of what it discusses comes to pass nor even the degree to which it does or does not describe the relevant future of tomorrow. Rather, the test is the degree to which it helps us think about relevant probabilities and how we might begin to shape our future by taking charge of those decisions and events which we can affect rather than leaving things to chance. So, we are presented with a series of visions and a chance to choose among them to try and shape the future. We investigated a number of alternative futures in the year 2025. There were three critical forces or “drivers” helping shape these alternate futures. The first of these is the rate of change and spread in technological vitality, which can range from constrained to exponential. When constrained, evolutionary technological changes are occurring, and it is possible for nations or groups to preserve technological monopolies and advantages. When changing at an exponential rate, revolutionary technological changes are possible, and nations or groups no longer can preserve technological monopolies and advantages. To illustrate, are you riding a rising technological tide in a rowboat or the QE II?
The second driver is the nature of world power–cultural, political, military, economic–ranging from concentrated to dispersed. The last is the American worldview, which could range in focus from domestic to global. We examined five alternative futures in 2025 and one on the way to it–Crossroads 2015. In 2025 most major battles among advanced postindustrial societies may not be to capture territory. They may not even occur on the earth’s surface. But if they do, armies and navies will deploy and maneuver with the privilege of air and space power. More than likely, the major battles among these societies will occur in space or cyberspace. Those who can control the flow of knowledge will be advantaged. It is not information itself which is important but the architecture of and infrastructure for its collection, processing, and distribution which will be critical. This is not to say that surface conflicts reminiscent of the slaughter by machetes in Rwanda will not continue in the future. They probably will. But the US need not fight those adversaries in those places with those weapons–even when we must become involved. Whether or not there are any major competitors for the US, many competitors will be advantaged by time, capability, or circumstance. In the world of 2025, there will be a select few who can compete in some aspects at the highest levels of military technology. Others will have reasonable military capability–possessing modern technology to project power by land, sea, or air. But they will be unable to sustain high-tech combat for long.
More specifically, as more actors, state and nonstate, become capable of launching and building satellites and using space-based assets for increasing their own global awareness, the US margin of superiority which now exists in this arena will likely diminish. The ability of the US to retain a full service air force and continue its dominance in airpower, given current and programmed assets, should continue well into the next century. Increasingly, advantage is achieved through investments in information systems, decision-making structures, and communication architectures. Effective competition with the US in this area must remain difficult for most adversaries.
Some further trends which emerge from the 2025 study should be noted. Satellites–ours and others–will increase in quality and quantity, and space-based sensors will become increasingly important. Many of the alternative futures and the individual papers describe uninhabited air vehicles for reconnaissance and strike and space planes (transatmospheric vehicles) with multiple functions. High-energy lasers–whether atmospheric or space-based–are seen as a weapon of choice for the future. Our study did not identify upgrades to intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) or nuclear weapons. We did find a trend toward unmanned aircraft and manned rockets and an increase in smart satellites and a decrease in large ground stations. We did not see a permanent manned military presence in space. The operations analysis and value-focused thinking model used in the study suggests that the leverage technologies will revolve around data fusion, power sources, micromechanical devices, and advanced materials. However, what is most important is discovering what needs to be done. Knowing what you have, what to acquire, what to protect, and what to explore further is critical. Understanding the synthesis of these for maximum effect is also important. However difficult the development of the technologies required, it is easier than the thinking which precedes their effective employment.
Chapter 4 Implications
The past is done. Finished. The “future” does not exist. It is created micro-second by micro-second by every living being and thing in the universe.
Given these likely realities as expressed by Teller, what should we do? What future should we create? It is not only a matter of investments in technologies and systems that is at issue here. It is also a matter of insights that flow from the alternative futures and the creation of a strategy to cope effectively with the world of 2025. What can we draw from the white papers in this study? What do they suggest about how the United States in general and the USAF in particular should go about preparing for the world of 2025? All boats rise on a rising technological tide. Maintaining superiority will become more difficult but is possible. We should make investments for the future in the technologies which enhance vigilance, decision-making capabilities, and communications architectures. The rest of the world will become far more capable in the critical areas of power projection and application for the future–information technologies, airpower capabilities, and the utilization of space–relative to the US than they are today. Hence, the half-life of the “world’s last remaining superpower” may be rather short. We will have to work smarter and harder to maintain an advantage in these areas. But the rest of the world is not likely to become uniformly competent in information technologies, airpower capabilities, and the utilization of space to the same extent as the US. We have a full-service air force on which to build. Others do not. But build we must: neither time nor technological tide will wait for the Air Force. In the meantime, we have a dominant capability in information gathered from space-based systems which is not likely to be replicated by many. We have space assets, infrastructure, and experience rivaled by few. While we will no doubt be challenged in each of these areas, few could challenge us in all. Even then, we have an edge. Knowing what is going on is a prerequisite for effective deterrence, for offense or for defense. If we seek to maintain our relative superiority in the future, we must constantly improve our capacity for vigilance. Equally as important, we must improve both our communications and computing capabilities and our human abilities to make rapid, intelligent, appropriate decisions at all levels. The costs of systems, the disruption caused by error, and the consequences of failure increase dramatically in the fast-paced interlocking world of the future. The US has an opportunity to achieve integrated dominance to oppose strength with strength to impose strength on weakness. The key to achieving and maintaining lasting superiority that cannot easily be duplicated by others lies in the integration of information, air, and space. The successful integration of information, air, and space will provide increased capabilities by enhancing the capabilities of each individual area as well as the combination of them. Utilizing them will allow the US to achieve dominance in air and space to protect the nation, its assets, and its citizens around the globe. Integrating these capabilities will provide the capability for achieving and maintaining superiority. It has become cliché to advise employing “your strength against his weakness.”
There are several levels of insight here. The connectivity architecture is more important than any of its separate components. Integration among these components is absolutely vital to the future security of the US. This is what enables the timely, effective application of our capabilities. It permits us to do things first, farther, faster, and better than an opponent. This being so, we can achieve the disaggregation of C3. Information is best handled by a demand-driven network. Command is a task-driven hierarchy. But, they need not be the same systems. They should be simultaneous, parallel, and connected. Command, control, and communications can be discrete functions. Command hierarchies are too slow for the exponential advantage that increased information flows and rapid communications can confer. If vertical categorical stovepipes–military, intelligence, cultural, economic–were complemented with horizontal cross drafts, it would be possible to take full advantage of information architecture and connectivity. Information is no longer a staff function but an operational one. It is deadly as well as useful.
Information has always been an important tool for the war fighter. But its importance is increasing. The distillation and distribution of knowledge from information is even more critical. Knowing what is going on in-time, not necessarily in real-time, gives one a big advantage. In the future, information will be available in greater quantity, quality, and timeliness. But not everyone needs all the information. The key is in designing an architecture which routes or makes available relevant information to the user who needs it and in turning information into knowledge about what the individual needs to know without generating useless data. Increasingly, the utility of information is measured by its timeliness as well as its accuracy. This trend will increase exponentially in the future as the speed of data transmission, vehicles, and weaponry increase dramatically. But as information itself becomes the weapon of choice, it will become an operational capability of first, not last resort. Information is a weapon which is versatile in the extreme and therefore attractive. It can act quickly or slowly, be lethal or nonlethal, tactical or strategic, short term or long term, clean and precise, or large and “dirty.” It can target anything from an individual to a culture, region, country, or religion. It can be used against alliances, communications, logistics, governments, societies, economic systems, weapons systems or armies, navies, and air forces. Deception may become more important than denial. […….]The revolutionary information technologies of the future are so fast moving that they suggest the need for dramatic changes in planning, budgeting, and acquisition if we are to continue to compete successfully. […..] As Giulio Douhet argued, “Victory smiles upon those who anticipate the changes in the character of war, not upon those who wait to adapt themselves after they occur.” Space and information are becoming more important to airpower. The basic development of information technologies will be done by industry. The integration and application of these technologies, however, lie at the heart of America’s future superiority. Technologies alone will not be enough. The processes and organizational structures which they demand to maximize the potentials inherent in them are equally important. Airpower has atmospheric, exoatmospheric, and infospheric components. The USAF needs a commitment to information and space–and to the Air Force people whose expertise makes information and space capabilities possible–that is as passionate as was the commitment to a separate service and the early custodians of flight. To be successful, we will require a capacity for rapid adaptation before and during conflict. This capacity will in turn require a revolution in military education to take advantage of these transformations rather than be overwhelmed by them. Smart systems and uncertain futures require “brilliant warriors,” or as Alvin and Heidi Toffler argue, “brain force” as well as brute force. We must improve how we prepare ourselves mentally as well as technologically.
Chapter 5 What It Means: Vigilant Edge
Having lived in 2025 for the last 10 months, we believe we’ve gained some insights on how we successfully arrived in 2025. As we look back, we believe our “Vigilant Edge” got us here.
“Vigilance” has several dimensions. It is alert watchfulness to detect danger, implying steadfast and continuous observation. It means being ready, being prepared. But it also suggests prudence, discretion, and care as well. All these are attributes of a military force charged with protecting the nation and its vital interests. They are synonymous with much of our experience where thousands of airmen have spent millions of watchful hours prepared to respond to threats to the nation and our interests. It is the ultimate global extension of “situational awareness.”
Chapter 6 Methodology
Nothing is certain except that we face innumerable uncertainties; but simply recognizing thatfact provides a vital starting point, and is, of course, far better than being blindly unaware of how our world is changing.
Paul Kennedy Preparing for the Twenty-First Century
Chapter 7 White Paper Summaries: Awareness
Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est. (Knowledge is power.)
There is no substitute for knowing about the environment, one’s adversary, and oneself. Alternative courses of action which are informed decisions rather than poor choices based on chance flow from knowledge. Without knowing what is going on, one is deaf, dumb, and blind–without reference point or compass. With knowledge, informed decisions are possible. The odds of accomplishing one’s purpose increase dramatically. The knowledge of others–their intentions, capabilities, and actions–is valuable in itself. It can add to our capacity for defense or our ability to compel an adversary to do our will when necessary. It can enable our capacity to deny, degrade, delay, or destroy an adversary’s assets, military capability, or will to resist. More importantly, their knowledge that we know is even more useful. It can increase deterrence–our ability to prevent another from doing something. Those technologies that increase our awareness–our ability to know, to “see the other side of the hill,” to have the basic information on which to make reasoned choices–are not only invaluable, they are a prerequisite to the efficient and effective deployment or employment of military force. Knowledge is the biggest force multiplier. Investment in emerging technologies, systems, and concepts of operations which increase our awareness–our knowledge–yield the greatest returns. Increasingly, space-based sensors; the computer architecture needed to collect, process, and distribute massive amounts of data; and the timely dissemination of such information will be critical to the successful deployment and employment of military force in the twenty-first century. The studies summarized below constitute efforts to enhance our awareness in a variety of ways. In that knowledge is power; they represent the cornerstone for how the USAF should provide for US security in 2025. They are critical to the ability for the US to adapt to a complex, constantly changing, and uncertain strategic environment. Organizing for Awareness original document here A global, precise, real-time, robust, systematic weather-modification capability would provide war-fighting CINCs [an acronym meaning “Commander IN Chief” of a unified command] with a powerful force multiplier to achieve military objectives. Since weather will be common to all possible futures, a weather-modification capability would be universally applicable and have utility across the entire spectrum of conflict. The capability of influencing the weather even on a small scale could change it from a force degrader to a force multiplier. In 1957, the president’s advisory committee on weather control explicitly recognized the military potential of weather-modification, warning in their report that it could become a more important weapon than the atom bomb [William B. Meyer, “The Life and Times of US Weather: What Can We Do About It?” American Heritage 37, no. 4 (June/July 1986), 48]. Today [since 1969], weather-modification is the alteration of weather phenomena over a limited area for a limited period of time. [Herbert S. Appleman, An Introduction to Weather-modification (Scott AFB, Ill.: Air Weather Service/MAC, September 1969), 1]. In the broadest sense, weather-modification can be divided into two major categories: suppression and intensification of weather patterns. In extreme cases, it might involve the creation of completely new weather patterns, attenuation or control of severe storms, or even alteration of global climate on a far-reaching and/or long-lasting scale.
Air and space forces are particularly well suited to enhancing awareness. They can operate at great distance from the continental US and provide the most rapid manner to “see” what is going on by a variety of means. They are the most timely assets to make continual assessments of an unfolding reality which may be hostile and closed to surface-based assets. Whether it is a manned aircraft, a UAV, or satellite in LEO or geosynchronous orbit, the USAF has a variety of platforms and capabilities to provide awareness for US decision makers. That capacity will improve greatly as we move towards 2025.
Awareness/Information Concepts and Systems
World Wide Information Control System
The World Wide Information Control System (WICS) is a system to supersede C4I. It seeks to gather, process, and present in-time information to military users. A secondary set of objectives is to provide uninterrupted, secure, global communications for military forces. It seeks to do so through an integrated system of low earth orbit data harvesters and geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO) distributed processing using multispectral sensing and direct laser links to both GEO and LEO satellites for critical data transfers. The second way in which it operates is through BATTLE-NET, a streamlined, computer based, networked information database similar to the Internet but dedicated for military purposes. The key to the system is the connectivity and the accessibility of information in a timely manner. Access is gained through a personal interface card (PIC) for users across a layered access–tactical, operational and strategic. Development of WICS depends on the enhancement of the enabling technologies required–data collection, data processing, presentation, communications, and information control. These technologies will be pursued for the most part by commercial as well as military users. Hence, the costs, though great, do not have to be borne solely by the military. A number of technologies applicable to a WICS are either under way in research and development or likely to emerge within the next 30 years. Among these are high bandwidth laser communications, data compression systems, information protection, signal processing for distributed satellite communications, and improved networking technologies. WICS represents the ultimate in centralized control and decentralized execution for the military user.
2025 In-Time Information Integration System, (I3S)
This paper describes the system needed to integrate all sources of data in order to achieve “top sight vision.” This begins with the data collected from an array of sophisticated sensors linked in a global information net. This net, an in-time information integration system (I3S), incorporates artificial intelligence, neural nets, and fuzzy logic to produce an advanced computer systems architecture for data collection, transmission, and analysis. To do so will require terabyte capability and microprocessor “brains” working in an optical medium. These would be embedded throughout a three-dimensional distributed architecture to enhance timeliness, safeguard data, and provide back-up communications paths. The microprocessor brains would discriminate based on the type of information and data flows required by different users in different times.
This system would require a global grid of multiple intelligent plug-in nodes. It would have connectivity to a variety of input sensors and data users, be they land-, sea-, air-, or space-based. A critical element would be an enhanced visual display of an unfolding event, a particular place, or a segment of time one wished to view. This system would depend on emerging computer technologies and concepts such as quantum computer technology, holographic association, and nonlinear processing, optical computers, and even deoxyribonucleic acid computers. Such a system would have commercial as well as military applications. Cost sharing is critical to the development and deployment of such a system. Possessing such a system would enhance the ability of the US to claim the high ground in the struggle for information dominance and secure its superpower status well into the twenty-first century.
The Command or Control Dilemma: When Technology and Organizational Orientation Collide
Traditionally, the military response to increasing technological competencies has been greater centralization. Unfortunately, greater centralized control is the exact opposite of what is required to maximize the full benefits of the burgeoning advances in information technology. As the tempo of operations increases, so does the amount of information processed and the demand for faster decision making amid greater and greater data flows. We have had an information revolution. We can collect far more information in a faster cycle than ever before. Unfortunately, what we need is a decision-making revolution–a means by which we can make use of the information collected, a way to sort it, assess it, and act upon it in a timely and effective manner. […] The ability to create a new system for readiness and sustainment measurement increases the commander’s awareness of his own forces and assets rather than those of the enemy or the strategic environment in general. Having an integrated system for measuring, adjusting, and forecasting readiness and training will help provide the USAF with a comparative advantage over its adversaries. This system is called Joint Readiness Assessment And Planning Integrated Decision System (JRAPIDS). JRAPIDS is a computerized data system to measure both operational and structural readiness in terms of responsiveness, training, and sustainability. It is an overall architecture for real-time assessment. It will automatically update the readiness status of individuals, units, and forces (active, guard, and reserve) while providing decision makers a comprehensive measure of readiness and sustainment that focuses on outputs. The final product consists of a time-variable, mission-scaleable matrix depicting capability available over time in a given theater of operations for a specific task or mission. This provides decision makers with an overall force management capability. Such a complex data collection, processing, and management system is possible if we desire it through the merging technologies of artificial intelligence and increased computing and communications capabilities.
Virtual Integrated Planning and Execution Resource System:
VIPERS provides commanders a real-time “bird’s eye” view of the battle space during execution. This perspective results in visibility of all logistics from factory to foxhole and improved combat identification. This information is displayed using a three-dimensional holographic projection system with natural human-machine interface. In addition to these, VIPERS depends on microelectrical mechanical systems, artificial intelligence, and image understanding software; all of which are in their infancy but show promising development in the next decade or so.
The system proposed in the Man in the Chair (MITCH) is an effort to operationalize a concept that would provide the US with an unrivaled capability for comprehending the battle space of 2025 by giving the right decision maker the right information at the right time. It is evolutionary in capitalizing on emerging satellite technologies to fully exploit the high ground of space for surveillance and reconnaissance to achieve continuous global awareness. It is revolutionary in its method of data collection and fusion from space collectors to a terrestrial brain. The brain provides what decision makers really need–not mere data, but specific information, and if possible, knowledge. In effect the system operates as a human does–subconsciously aware of the general environment, focused on stimuli of importance, and continuously making sense of it all. The summative notion of this is the “man in the chair”–MITCH.
Education and Training for Awareness
Brilliant Warrior: Information Technology Integration in Education and Training In 2025, massive amounts of information will be available through advanced networks. The challenge will be how to deal with nearly unlimited volumes of information, the means to disseminate it, and the growing need to discern what information has value for the military professional. The purpose of this paper is to look at how the air and space force of 2025 will use information technology to educate and train its members. The paper describes an adaptive learning environment in which emerging technologies completely reform the educational process and the nature of training. Through the application of nanotechnologies and microelectrical mechanical computer processing advances, a three-tier system of education and training is created consisting of the delivery system, the development system, and the tracking system.
Combining the fruits of technology into personal information devices (PID) which allow access to the global information infrastructure provides a radically different basis for the learning process and redefines the learning environment. Microprocessors, virtual reality, communications networks, and other technologies will mean that education and training can be tailored to time, task, and individual as required. It is superior to the grossly inefficient manner in which we do large scale, group education and training at the moment–on a rigid time schedule, in a fixed format, at a single place. There are, however, three cautionary truths. The medium isn’t the message, this will not happen quickly, and it will not save money soon. But if the military is to take advantage of a revolution in military affairs (RMA), it must first prepare for a revolution in military education (RME). This paper presents the basic outlines of and paradigm shifts required for that revolution and why it is required for the USAF of 2025. […]
SPACENET: On-Orbit Support in 2025
In 2025, on-orbit support will be vital to employing space assets as an instrument of national power. Four areas of on-orbit support need to be developed over the next three decades to ensure that the US maintains space dominance. First, supporting forces in the field will be the primary mission of the military space program. Theater commanders require reliable, timely support from space to maximize their war-fighting potential. This includes communications, navigation, weather, missile launch warning, interdiction, and data transfer. Second, satellite command, control, and communications (C3) systems must be responsive enough to position satellites in correct orbits to support the theater commander. While satellite autonomy is the goal, the reality for the foreseeable future is likely to be a system of C3 to control satellites over the horizon from a ground control station; automatic, redundant switching to ensure a particular satellite receives the correct commands; and flexible, secure, and mobile ground stations.
The third component is satellite design. This will lower costs, improve flexibility, and enhance survivability. Key design considerations include satellite size, longevity, power and propulsion requirements, survivability, computer processing capability, and cost. While quantum leaps in information technology will occur, adapting them to the environment of space may take a little longer. Finally, space assets need to be made survivable in a hostile space environment and be immediately replaceable if destroyed. Such protection should include a system of both passive and active defense measures to counter both man-made and environmental threats. These might include antisatellite (ASAT) systems and those to protect satellites from space debris and meteorites. Solving these four problems through SPACENET will make it the ultimate in force enhancement and projection in order to ensure US dominance in the twenty-first century.
[…]Procurement and Bases
[…]The paper describes a system called cyber situation which optimizes the commander’s capability by integrating the functions of the observe-orient-decide-act (OODA) loop and allowing the commander to control the momentum of the cycle. Commanders will have in-time access to the battle space, characterize the nature of the engagement, determine the calculated probabilities of success from the options authorized, decide what to do, employ the weapons chosen, and receive in-time feedback on the results and progress of the engagement. There are five major components of the cyber situation. First, there is the information integration center (IIC), an interconnected web of satellites that analyzes, correlates, fuses, and deconflicts all relayed data. Second are the all-source information collectors that transmit information to the IIC. The third component is an implanted microchip that optically links to the IIC and presents a three-dimensional computer generated mental visualization that encompasses and transforms the individual into the battle space of the user’s choice. The fourth component consists of lethal and nonlethal weapons that authorized users may employ from the cyber situation. Finally, there are archival databases resident on the ground linked to the IIC. Such a system makes maximum use of information technology and is the key to dominant power in 2025.
Information Attack: Information Warfare in 2025
The thesis of this paper is that the proper understanding and future development of information attack within the context of the USAF core competency of information dominance is the key to information warfare in the future. Information warfare, especially information attack, will provide the differential advantage, especially through air and space power, to permit the US to develop and employ asymmetric modes of operation at what are called currently the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of conflict. Asymmetric and differential strategy is the key to breaking the platform-to-platform thinking which continues to dominate long-range strategic thinking inherited from the successful experience of industrial age warfare. Information warfare is the key to asymmetrical and differential strategy, and information attack and new forms of air and space power are the key to information warfare.
The chief technical requirements for information attack which would need to be developed by the USAF would include awareness of future prepositioned trapdoors in commercial computer programs and components in use worldwide; future systems to defend and penetrate, in peace and war, critical military, commercial, educational, and information-dependent systems; future systems to protect against and deploy corrupt information via common carrier globally distributed information systems; and false flag (commercial products) or third party (coalition partner) systems. Capability for precision stealthy deployment of sensors and information attack devices would need to be developed. The battle space of the future may well be shaped by the long-term effects of nonlethal “disorientation” information attack. The enabling capabilities are of three types: communications (awareness), mobility (reach), and destruction-neutralization (power). The first requires mission knowledge, fusion, integration, and analysis of specialized information. The second requires vertical lift, global range, and high speed insertion and extraction. The third requires capabilities from nonlethal to lethal and selection of the most appropriate capability for the mission. Among the technological solutions which show the most promise for SOF missions are hypersonic aircraft for increased mobility and speed; increased stealth for airlift in support of SOF missions; extraction rockets; smaller, integrated, and more durable communication systems; and weapons with tunable lethality. The paper investigates these areas and devises numerous concepts of operation and technological advances in support of the range of SOF missions in 2025.
Space Strike Systems […]
The Global Area Strike System consists of a continental US-based laser system which bounces high energy beams off a constellation of space-based mirrors. Inherently precise, megawatt-class, light speed weapons can potentially act within seconds or minutes to impact on events in space, the atmosphere, or the earth’s surface. A transatmospheric vehicle serves as a weapons platform for kinetic energy projectiles, directed energy weapons, and manned strike and provides flexibility in the response. It can thus deliver a variety of forces to anywhere on earth within hours. The combined system has near instantaneous response capability, a full range of lethality, and global reach and adequate flexibility. Although it can strike from space, no actual weapons are based in space. Its greatest asset is that it provides power projection without forward basing.
Knowledge Warfare: Shattering the Information-War Paradigm
This paper argues that the ability to affect the decision maker directly through knowledge war may be plausible in the future. Besides using evolutionary improvements to existing capabilities to conduct traditional information war on the means of communicating, it should be possible to employ revolutionary methods that focus on the actual decision-making process. The authors describe a system that targets the decision maker directly. Successful creation of the capability may make an adversary’s decision the center of gravity for conflict and conflict resolution. Fascinating technological discoveries that today are only in their infancy will mature quickly and coalesce to provide the necessary capability.
The paper explores five categories of counter-information operations which would enable the capability the authors describe. They argue that a successful information attack requires stealthy and powerful virus capability that can attack strategic, operational, and tactical information systems to varying degrees of lethality as soon as power is applied. Holographic image projection, cloaking devices, and multispectral camouflage will provide enhanced military deception capability, but the most promising technology is the creation of synthetic environments that an adversary thinks are real. One of the most innovative methods for psychological operations to influence a target is to use holographic image projection with messages conveying the desired effect. The electronic warfare battlefield of the future will include dynamic high-speed neural processors, autonomous adaptive processing systems, and precision-guided cyber munitions that launch information attack weapons into an adversary’s system. Trusted systems, trusted software agents, and secure communications provide promising means of protection against information attacks.
Incapacattack: The Strings of the Puppet Master
The twenty-first century will demand innovative approaches to command and control (C2) attack. Current approaches are primarily lethal and overt–one bombs C2 nodes, shoots down surveillance platforms, and jams radar systems. By 2025, the focus will have shifted to more indirect, nonlethal methods for two reasons. First, technological advances will provide more of the stealth, precision, and miniaturization needed to do so, and second, the US will desire to minimize casualties and collateral damage. To conduct C2 attack on a broader spectrum ranging from prehostilities through posthostilities against enemies at various stages of technological development, commanders will need a range of flexible deterrent and attack options, particularly when lethal force is undesirable. The paper argues for subtle manipulation of human perception as a dominant characteristic of C2 attack in 2025. The enabling technologies for such subtlety are those which “demassify” and microminiaturize. The authors highlight five core technologies which will develop in the next 30 years. These technologies enable the development of Incapacattack (pronounced, in-ca-pass-attack), a multicomponent system that provides commanders with a range of attack options that can be used singly or in combination to influence an opponent, much as a puppet master manipulates the strings of a marionette.
The system includes a cyberforce attack cell, a global awareness capability, a constellation of distributed minisatellites, uninhabited aerial vehicles, “micro-know-bots,” and a holographic projection capability. Its attack options include psychological operations, information attack, deception, biomedical attack, multispectral warfare, and destruction.
In 2025 advances in computing power and microminiaturization, coupled with organizations’ need to handle information rapidly and efficiently, will result in the pervasive presence of expanded and distributed communications networks (C-Nets). Organizations of all types will rely on these C-Nets increasingly to maintain their unity of purpose. Thus unlike some of the papers above that assumed that communications links would be so distributed and redundant that a more effective focus of attack would be on the decision maker, this paper makes the opposite assumption. The C-Nets will be so pervasive that they must be attacked. The authors contend that as organizations flatten and communications technology proliferates, the strategic targeting emphasis must shift from leaders to the leadership function that maintains unity of purpose. The paper describes a system of systems which targets the growing organizational reliance on information systems for maintaining strategic unity of purpose. Given this focus, the authors examine the role of air and space power in conducting information operations in an initial intelligence gathering phase and in a precision-attack phase. The authors develop nine concepts for conducting C-net attacks and identify the emerging technologies to enable the capability.
Novel Necessary Capabilities
Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025
In 2025, US aerospace forces can “own the weather,” as they “own the night” now. Though a high-risk effort, the investment to do so would pay high rewards. Weather modification offers both the commercial sector and the military greatly enhanced capabilities. For this to occur, technology advancements in five major areas are necessary. These are advanced nonlinear modeling techniques, computational capability, information gathering and transmission, a global sensor array, and weather intervention techniques. All of these will be greatly enhanced as we approach 2025. Current demographic, economic, and environmental trends will create global stresses that create the necessary impetus for weather modification to become a reality in the commercial sector. Its application in the military arena is a natural development as well. Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally, through alliance networks–particularly regional ones–or through an ad hoc coalition or a UN framework. It could have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for deterrence purposes. The ability to generate precipitation, fog, and storms on earth or to modify space weather, improve communications through ionospheric modification (the use of ionospheric mirrors), and the production of artificial weather all are a part of an integrated set of technologies which can provide substantial increase in US, or degraded capability in an adversary, to achieve global awareness, reach, and power. Weather modification will be a part of 2025 and is an area in which the US must invest if only to be able to counter adversaries seeking such a capability.
[…] Chapter 10 White Paper Summaries: Challenges and Choices
We must ask where we are and whither we are tending.
The Null Hypothesis
Paths to Extinction: The US Air Force in 2025
This paper tests the hypothesis that there will be no USAF in the year 2025 and explores the ways in which such a reality could come to pass. There are six reasons which are external to the USAF–the ascendancy of other services, economic and budgetary constraints, different defense choices in a constrained environment, a transformation of the nature of war, technology becoming the death knell of the air force rather than its savior, and the rise of jointness to the exclusion of the USAF. There are a like number of internal causes for the USAF’s potential demise. These could occur because the USAF loses its sense of vision and its mission, mismanages its people, mismanages its programs, chooses the wrong path for the future, is too good at strategic warfare, or fails to adapt appropriately to the changing strategic environment. All of these are not likely to occur, but all are plausible. Many are likely, either completely or partially. The odds that the US could escape all of these pressures or tendencies is not very good. Hence, the extinction of the USAF is a likely outcome unless action is taken to prevent this from occurring. The key to that action is an informed military, political leadership, and public knowledgeable about the attributes of air and space power and what it can–and cannot–do. The US has no desire for territorial aggrandizement, lays claim to the moral high ground, needs to project force at a distance, seeks to be responsive, and accepts the increased importance of awareness, reach, and power to assure knowledge, agility, and adaptation. A capability to know about, reach and strike if necessary, any point on the globe is critical to US security. The US must preserve its aerospace capability in the third dimension to protect the nation and its interests and be successful when wars must be waged in the future. Though there are many paths to extinction for the USAF–and perhaps the nation–they should be avoided and airpower’s capabilities promoted.
A New Vision
. . . Or Go Down In Flame?” An Airpower Manifesto for the Twenty-First Century
This paper calls for a reexamination of the emphasis in the USAF on its traditional platforms, roles, and missions. Instead of the emphasis on atmospheric capabilities, the authors call for a transition to an “infospheric” Air Force instead. This is necessary, it is argued, because the new “high ground” is not aerospace, but cyberspace. The new missions on which the USAF is embarked–a constabulary one in peacekeeping operations and information warfare, full of Trojan horses, computer viruses, and so forth, may not be the wave of the future. Neither will serve the USAF well if it has to confront and defeat an adversary without an information infrastructure to attack who is bent on fighting a first or second wave war.
The new missions of the future are extended information dominance, global transparency, and strategic defense. They have nothing to do with the human mastery of flight. That was yesterday’s problem. Today’s facts are different. The raison d’être of air and space forces in the twenty-first century must tend to operating militarily in a transparent world, understanding space, and defending the American homeland from aerospace threats. If the USAF does these things well, it will gain fame. If it does not, it will go down in flames. Whether the USAF flies like Daedalus or perishes like Icarus will be determined by not only how well it contends with the atmospheric threats that continue to exist but also by how well it reinvents itself to occupy the high ground of cyberspace to achieve the space and infospheric roles and missions of the twenty-first century.
ΜΕΤΕΩΡΟΛΟΓΙΚΑ ΟΠΛΑ 13 ΧΡΟΝΙΑ ΠΡΙΝ….(1996)
In the United States, weather-modification will likely become a part of national security policy with both domestic and international applications. Our government will pursue such a policy, depending on its interests, at various levels. In this paper we show that appropriate application of weather-modification can provide battlespace dominance to a degree never before imagined. In the future, such operations will enhance air and space superiority and provide new options for battlespace shaping and battlespace awareness. “The technology is there, waiting for us to pull it all together” [General Gordon R. Sullivan, “Moving into the 21st Century: America’s Army and Modernization,” Military Review (July 1993) quoted in Mary Ann Seagraves and Richard Szymber, “Weather a Force Multiplier,” Military Review, November/December 1995, 75].
Extreme and controversial examples of weather modification-creation of made-to-order weather, large-scale climate modification, creation and/or control (or “steering”) of severe storms, etc.-were researched as part of this study… the weather-modification applications proposed in this report range from technically proven to potentially feasible.
Applying Weather-modification to Military Operations
How will the military, in general, and the USAF, in particular, manage and employ a weather-modification capability? We envision this will be done by the weather force support element (WFSE), whose primary mission would be to support the war-fighting CINCs with weather-modification options, in addition to current forecasting support. Although the WFSE could operate anywhere as long as it has access to the GWN and the system components already discussed, it will more than likely be a component within the AOC or its 2025-equivalent. With the CINC’s intent as guidance, the WFSE formulates weather-modification options using information provided by the GWN, local weather data network, and weather-modification forecast model. The options include range of effect, probability of success, resources to be expended, the enemy’s vulnerability, and risks involved. The CINC chooses an effect based on these inputs, and the WFSE then implements the chosen course, selecting the right modification tools and employing them to achieve the desired effect. Sensors detect the change and feed data on the new weather pattern to the modeling system which updates its forecast accordingly. The WFSE checks the effectiveness of its efforts by pulling down the updated current conditions and new forecast(s) from the GWN and local weather data network, and plans follow-on missions as needed. This concept is illustrated in figure 3-2. Two key technologies are necessary to meld an integrated, comprehensive, responsive, precise, and effective weather-modification system. Advances in the science of chaos are critical to this endeavor. Also key to the feasibility of such a system is the ability to model the extremely complex nonlinear system of global weather in ways that can accurately predict the outcome of changes in the influencing variables. Researchers have already successfully controlled single variable nonlinear systems in the lab and hypothesize that current mathematical techniques and computer capacity could handle systems with up to five variables. Advances in these two areas would make it feasible to affect regional weather patterns by making small, continuous nudges to one or more influencing factors. Conceivably, with enough lead time and the right conditions, you could get “made-to-order” weather [William Brown, “Mathematicians Learn How to Tame Chaos,” New Scientist (30 May 1992): 16].
The total weather-modification process would be a real-time loop of continuous, appropriate, measured interventions, and feedback capable of producing desired weather behavior.
The essential ingredient of the weather-modification system is the set of intervention techniques used to modify the weather. The number of specific intervention methodologies is limited only by the imagination, but with few exceptions they involve infusing either energy or chemicals into the meteorological process in the right way, at the right place and time. The intervention could be designed to modify the weather in a number of ways, such as influencing clouds and precipitation, storm intensity, climate, space, or fog.
“…significant beneficial influences can be derived through judicious exploitation of the solar absorption potential of carbon black dust” [William M. Gray et al., “Weather-modification by Carbon Dust Absorption of Solar Energy,” Journal of Applied Meteorology 15 (April 1976): 355]. The study ultimately found that this technology could be used to enhance rainfall on the mesoscale, generate cirrus clouds, and enhance cumulonimbus (thunderstorm) clouds in otherwise dry areas. […] if we are fortunate enough to have a fairly large body of water available upwind from the targeted battlefield, carbon dust could be placed in the atmosphere over that water. Assuming the dynamics are supportive in the atmosphere, the rising saturated air will eventually form clouds and rainshowers downwind over the land.
Numerous dispersal techniques [of carbon dust] have already been studied, but the most convenient, safe, and cost-effective method discussed is the use of afterburner-type jet engines to generate carbon particles while flying through the targeted air. This method is based on injection of liquid hydrocarbon fuel into the afterburner’s combustion gases [this explains why contrails have now become chemtrails].
To date, much work has been done on UAVs [Unmanned Aviation Vehicles] which can closely (if not completely) match the capabilities of piloted aircraft. If this UAV technology were combined with stealth and carbon dust technologies, the result could be a UAV aircraft invisible to radar while en route to the targeted area, which could spontaneously create carbon dust in any location. If clouds were seeded (using chemical nuclei similar to those used today or perhaps a more effective agent discovered through continued research) before their downwind arrival to a desired location, the result could be a suppression of precipitation. In other words, precipitation could be “forced” to fall before its arrival in the desired territory, thereby making the desired territory “dry.”
Field experiments with lasers have demonstrated the capability to dissipate warm fog at an airfield with zero visibility. Smart materials based on nanotechnology are currently being developed with gigaops computer capability at their core. They could adjust their size to optimal dimensions for a given fog seeding situation and even make adjustments throughout the process. They might also enhance their dispersal qualities by adjusting their buoyancy, by communicating with each other, and by steering themselves within the fog. They will be able to provide immediate and continuous effectiveness feedback by integrating with a larger sensor network and can also change their temperature and polarity to improve their seeding effects [J. Storrs Hall, “Overview of Nanotechnology,” adapted from papers by Ralph C. Merkle and K. Eric Drexler, Rutgers University, November 1995]. As mentioned above, UAVs could be used to deliver and distribute these smart materials. Recent army research lab experiments have demonstrated the feasibility of generating fog. They used commercial equipment to generate thick fog in an area 100 meters long. Further study has shown fogs to be effective at blocking much of the UV/IR/visible spectrum, effectively masking emitters of such radiation from IR weapons [Robert A. Sutherland, “Results of Man-Made Fog Experiment,” Proceedings of the 1991 Battlefield Atmospherics Conference (Fort Bliss, Tex.: Hinman Hall, 3-6 December 1991)].
The damage caused by storms is indeed horrendous. For instance, a tropical storm has an energy equal to 10,000 one-megaton hydrogen bombs [Louis J. Battan, Harvesting the Clouds (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., 1960), 120]. At any instant there are approximately 2,000 thunderstorms taking place. In fact 45,000 thunderstorms, which contain heavy rain, hail, microbursts, wind shear, and lightning form daily [Gene S. Stuart, “Whirlwinds and Thunderbolts,” Nature on the Rampage (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1986), 130]. Weather-modification technologies might involve techniques that would increase latent heat release in the atmosphere, provide additional water vapor for cloud cell development, and provide additional surface and lower atmospheric heating to increase atmospheric instability. The focus of the weather-modification effort would be to provide additional “conditions” that would make the atmosphere unstable enough to generate cloud and eventually storm cell development. One area of storm research that would significantly benefit military operations is lightning modification… but some offensive military benefit could be obtained by doing research on increasing the potential and intensity of lightning. Possible mechanisms to investigate would be ways to modify the electropotential characteristics over certain targets to induce lightning strikes on the desired targets as the storm passes over their location.
In summary, the ability to modify battlespace weather through storm cell triggering or enhancement would allow us to exploit the technological “weather” advances.
This section discusses opportunities for control and modification of the ionosphere and near-space environment for force enhancement. A number of methods have been explored or proposed to modify the ionosphere, including injection of chemical vapors and heating or charging via electromagnetic radiation or particle beams (such as ions, neutral particles, x-rays, MeV particles, and energetic electrons) – [Peter M. Banks, “Overview of Ionospheric Modification from Space Platforms,” in Ionospheric Modification and Its Potential to Enhance or Degrade the Performance of Military Systems (AGARD Conference Proceedings 485, October 1990) 19-1]. It is important to note that many techniques to modify the upper atmosphere have been successfully demonstrated experimentally. Ground-based modification techniques employed by the FSU include vertical HF heating, oblique HF heating, microwave heating, and magnetospheric modification [Capt Mike Johnson, Upper Atmospheric Research and Modification-Former Soviet Union (U), DST-18205-475-92 (Foreign Aerospace Science and Technology Center, AF Intelligence Command, 24 September 1992)].
Creation of an artificial uniform ionosphere was first proposed by Soviet researcher A. V. Gurevich in the mid-1970s. An artificial ionospheric mirror (AIM) would serve as a precise mirror for electromagnetic [EM]radiation of a selected frequency or a range of frequencies.
While most weather-modification efforts rely on the existence of certain preexisting conditions, it may be possible to produce some weather effects artificially, regardless of preexisting conditions. For instance, virtual weather could be created by influencing the weather information received by an end user. Nanotechnology also offers possibilities for creating simulated weather. A cloud, or several clouds, of microscopic computer particles, all communicating with each other and with a larger control system could provide tremendous capability. Interconnected, atmospherically buoyant, and having navigation capability in three dimensions, such clouds could be designed to have a wide-range of properties… Even if power levels achieved were insufficient to be an effective strike weapon [if power levels WERE sufficient, they would be an effective strike weapon], the potential for psychological operations in many situations could be fantastic.
One major advantage of using simulated weather to achieve a desired effect is that unlike other approaches, it makes what are otherwise the results of deliberate actions appear to be the consequences of natural weather phenomena. In addition, it is potentially relatively inexpensive to do. According to J. Storrs Hall, a scientist at Rutgers University conducting research on nanotechnology, production costs of these nanoparticles could be about the same price per pound as potatoes [Ibid, Hall].
Weather affects everything we do, and weather-modification can enhance our ability to dominate the aerospace environment. The US Army has already alluded to this approach in their concept of “owning the weather.” Accordingly, storm modification will become more valuable over time [Mary Ann Seagraves and Richard Szymber, “Weather a Force Multiplier,” Military Review, November/December 1995, 69]. As depicted, the technologies and capabilities associated with such a counter weather role will become increasingly important. The importance of space weather-modification will grow with time. Its rise will be more rapid at first as the technologies it can best support or negate proliferate at their fastest rates.
The ability to modify the weather may be desirable both for economic and defense reasons. The global weather system has been described as a series of spheres or bubbles. Pushing down on one causes another to pop up [Daniel S. Halacy, The Weather Changers (New York: Harper & Row, 1968), 202]. The lessons of history indicate a real weather-modification capability will eventually exist despite the risk. The drive exists. People have always wanted to control the weather and their desire will compel them to collectively and continuously pursue their goal. The motivation exists. The potential benefits and power are extremely lucrative and alluring for those who have the resources to develop it. This combination of drive, motivation, and resources will eventually produce the technology. History also teaches that we cannot afford to be without a weather-modification capability once the technology is developed and used by others. Even if we have no intention of using it, others will. To call upon the atomic weapon analogy again, we need to be able to deter or counter their capability with our own. As the preceding chapters have shown, weather-modification is a force multiplier with tremendous power that could be exploited across the full spectrum of war-fighting environments… But, while offensive weather-modification efforts would certainly be undertaken by US forces with great caution and trepidation, it is clear that we cannot afford to allow an adversary to obtain an exclusive weather-modification capability.
There is no substitute for knowing about the environment, one’s adversary, and oneself. Alternative courses of action which are informed decisions rather than poor choices based on chance flow from knowledge. Without knowing what is going on, one is deaf, dumb, and blind–without reference point or compass. With knowledge, informed decisions are possible. The odds of accomplishing one’s purpose increase dramatically. The knowledge of others–their intentions, capabilities, and actions–is valuable in itself. It can add to our capacity for defense or our ability to compel an adversary to do our will when necessary. It can enable our capacity to deny, degrade, delay, or destroy an adversary’s assets, military capability, or will to resist. More importantly, their knowledge that we know is even more useful. It can increase deterrence–our ability to prevent another from doing something. Those technologies that increase our awareness–our ability to know, to “see the other side of the hill,” to have the basic information on which to make reasoned choices–are not only invaluable, they are a prerequisite to the efficient and effective deployment or employment of military force. Knowledge is the biggest force multiplier. Investment in emerging technologies, systems, and concepts of operations which increase our awareness–our knowledge–yield the greatest returns. Increasingly, space-based sensors; the computer architecture needed to collect, process, and distribute massive amounts of data; and the timely dissemination of such information will be critical to the successful deployment and employment of military force in the twenty-first century. The studies summarized below constitute efforts to enhance our awareness in a variety of ways. In that knowledge is power; they represent the cornerstone for how the USAF should provide for US security in 2025. They are critical to the ability for the US to adapt to a complex, constantly changing, and uncertain strategic environment.
Organizing for Awareness
original document here
A global, precise, real-time, robust, systematic weather-modification capability would provide war-fighting CINCs [an acronym meaning “Commander IN Chief” of a unified command] with a powerful force multiplier to achieve military objectives. Since weather will be common to all possible futures, a weather-modification capability would be universally applicable and have utility across the entire spectrum of conflict. The capability of influencing the weather even on a small scale could change it from a force degrader to a force multiplier. In 1957, the president’s advisory committee on weather control explicitly recognized the military potential of weather-modification, warning in their report that it could become a more important weapon than the atom bomb [William B. Meyer, “The Life and Times of US Weather: What Can We Do About It?” American Heritage 37, no. 4 (June/July 1986), 48]. Today [since 1969], weather-modification is the alteration of weather phenomena over a limited area for a limited period of time. [Herbert S. Appleman, An Introduction to Weather-modification (Scott AFB, Ill.: Air Weather Service/MAC, September 1969), 1].
In the broadest sense, weather-modification can be divided into two major categories: suppression and intensification of weather patterns. In extreme cases, it might involve the creation of completely new weather patterns, attenuation or control of severe storms, or even alteration of global climate on a far-reaching and/or long-lasting scale.