In this episode, LtCol (NLD AF) Herbert de Groot (NATO C2COE) and LtCol (USA AF) Henry Heren (JAPCC) discuss the emergence of multi-domain operations beyond the traditional “big 3”, and the importance to NATO in identifying how to adapt to this rapidly changing environment.
The emergence of space and cyber warfare has led to a diametric shift in the way that leaders not just in NATO, but the military sphere as a whole, view the war fighting landscape. Long gone are the days when warfare could be more easily compartmentalized into the traditional “big 3” domains of air, sea, and land. Now, a commander and their staff must examine the landscape and account for the role of space and cyber and define whether these exist as subsets of another domain or as an entirely independent one. It is not enough to account for just these; one must begin to define the characteristics of each and begin to understand the physical and legal boundaries of each domain.
Currently, this quandary speaks to a larger discussion around multi-domain operations. Whether it’s defining the exact taxonomy that accompanies a hybrid warfare environment or attaching a definition to this thought process, questions still linger. Once a commander starts down this path to defining this newer, more complex environment, further questions arise that shine a light on the knowledge gap. What defines a domain and what is the importance to NATO in defining these? What is the role of C2 in this new environment and what authority is a commander expected to utilize as a result? It is easy to see that with every answer more questions arise.