Army rolls out operating plan to ‘Win in a Complex World’

Posted at 6:46 PM, Oct 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-13 18:46:40-04

Newport News, Va. (WTKR) - The United States Army Training and Doctrine Command has released the new Army Operating Concept.

The command, known as TRADOC, is headquartered at Fort Eustis in Newport News.

General David Perkins, Commanding General of TRADOC, writes in the preface, “The purpose of the Army Operating Concept is to ask big questions; not focus on small answers. This concept focuses on three big questions; what level of war is the concept going to address, what is the environment we think Army forces will operate in, and what is the problem we are trying to solve."

He continues, "This concept, for the first time, focuses on all three levels of war: tactical, operational and strategic. The environment the Army will operate in is unknown. The enemy, location and coalitions involved are unknown."

The last plan, "AirLand Battle," was rolled out in the 1980s.

In an article published in Army magazine, General Perkins writes "When AirLand Battle was published in 1981, its specific purpose was to deal with a known enemy - the Soviet Union; in a known place - the central plains of Europe; and with a known coalition - NATO."

"Today, we have a very different challenge. Our new Army Operating Concept (AOC) is being developed to deal specifically with the unknown. Not only is the future unknown, but it is unknowable."

The operating concept is meant to give the Army a foundation as they plan for the future.

That future includes more joint operations with other branches of the military and adapting and overcoming to new threats and challenges.

"Diverse enemies will employ traditional, unconventional, and hybrid strategies to threaten U.S. security and vital interests," the AOC reads.

The plan also highlights the shifting world demographic, including that "the percentage of the world's population in urban areas will rise to 60 percent by 2030."

As that happens, the plan states that "Urban areas become safe havens and support bases for terrorists, insurgents or criminal organizations."

Thus, the Army must adapt to "land forces capable of operating in congested and restricted urban terrains to defeat those threats."

The plan also talks about the need for forces to fight multiple conflicts simultaneously.

"This approach envisions the simultaneous employment of forces and capabilities from and into multiple locations, contested spaces, and domains, presenting multiple dilemmas to an enemy, limiting options and avoiding strengths."

You can read the U.S. Army Operating Concept: Win in a Complex World here: Army Operating Concept

You can also read General Perkins' article "Army Operating Concept: Delivering the Future" in Army magazine here.