Creating Desired Effects: Revisioning Air Force Capabilities for the Joint Warfare Team in Irregular Warfare, Space, and Cyberspace   [open pdf - 775KB]

From the report preface: "This research paper begins by navigating through the fog and friction of the effects-based operations (EBO) debates within the Armed Forces of the United States (US) to discover the actual role of effects as an element of operational design. Focusing on desired effects that clarify the relationship between objectives and tasks leads to the relationship between creating desired effects and critical vulnerabilities (CVs) of an adversary's centers of gravity (COGs). This relationship highlights the essential role of the military means available to a Joint Force Commander (JFC) and the ability to attack CVs to create the desired effects to achieve the objectives and accomplish the assigned mission. The relationship of means, CVs, and desired effects amplifies the criticality that the Military Services organize, train, and equip their forces (within fiscal constraints) to maximize the capabilities they present to the JFC. [...] This paper is designed to provide a quick orientation to the EBO debate while pointing the reader to joint doctrine as the appropriate starting point. Next, the critical linkage of means to desired effects is established to show the importance of the Service's organize, train, and equip responsibilities to the joint warfare team. Finally, the Air Force must find the right balance of forces and capabilities by looking beyond its strategic attack heritage (whether via fighters, bombers, or ICBMs [intercontinental ballistic missiles]) in order to 'Fly, fight, and win...in air, space, and cyberspace' across the spectrum of military operations including small wars. Hopefully, this work will help spur critical thinking and lead to innovative solutions as we strive to 'support and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.'"

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