CSAF describes future of conflict

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WASHINGTON — Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein addressed the future of the Total Force, operations in space and the importance of a multi-domain, networked approach to warfare during an Air Force Association breakfast at the Mitchel Institute in Washington, D.C., July 26, 2017.

The CSAF outlined five key attributes of future conflict that must be prepared for: trans-regional, multi-domain, multi-component, multi-national/coalition and fast.

Goldfein compared the future of conflict and multi-domain command and control to a Rubik’s cube, saying Air Force blue is just one of many colors on it, with every capability working together in the multi-domain environment.

“First, a future conflict will be trans-regional,” he said. “Our adversaries are not paying attention to our combatant commander maps.”

Conflicts are, and will be, multi-domain, he said, including air, land, sea, space, cyberspace and the undersea domain. The Air Force must be masters across the spectrum.

Moving on, the Chief of Staff said the current and future fighting force will be multi-component.

“We’re more inter-dependent on each other as services than we’ve been in our history – for 26 years of continuous combat since Desert Storm,” Goldfein said. “We’ve produced a truly joint team that excels in simultaneous combat where we’ve often focused on sequential and de-conflicted operations in that past.”

Finally, a future conflict will be multi-national and fast.

“Our greatest strategic advantage in any future conflict are our allies and partners,” he said. “Simply put, we have them, our adversaries don’t…the collective economic and military might of 29 nations in the greatest alliance in history – a nuclear alliance, I might add. We must advance our ability to fight together in an age when information sharing is vital to success. And it will be fast…the sky is no longer the limit.”