Department of the Army tradoc pamphlet 525-3-7


-2. Operational Environment



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TRADOC Pamphlet 525-7-4

2-2. Operational Environment.
a. The changing operational environment.
(1) New and emerging technologies will transform the method and manner of warfare. In the next few decades, the US. will confront unstable, sometimes diverse, and highly uncertain geopolitical alignments that will generate major changes in adversaries intent, force array, and strength. There will be increased global and regional interest in local matters that will place increased value in alliances and coalitions. Potential adversaries will apply lessons learned based on their study of US. methods. New threats may emerge from aspiring great powers, new regional alignments, or transnational terrorist or criminal organizations. The global explosion in space-based communications, sensor networks, and information technologies, together with continuing proliferation of military and commercial technologies, will allow even less wealthy states, and non-state entities, to enhance their ground combat command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities to a level once maintained by armies supported by fully industrialized and national economies.
(2) The physical characteristics of a future theater of war also are likely to prove more challenging. Continuing global urbanization increases the probability that US. forces will confront complex topography, even where nature itself does not impose it. Early entry operations, support systems, and facilities will be more vulnerable to direct attack because of the proliferation of hostile communications sensor, missile, and night vision capabilities an ever- expanding array of precision munitions and special operations forces (SOF), and insurgent or terrorist capabilities, together with a growing threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD. These threats may even dictate that combat forces avoid prolonged occupation of detectable and targetable locations. Additionally, most adversaries will become more sophisticated with the adaptive use of camouflage, cover, concealment, denial, and deception (CD. Skilled CD will increase ambiguity, obscuring the identity of potential foes and forces. It is relatively cheap, easy to employ, and inmost cases effective, which will ensure its proliferation across the battlespace. Combined with dispersion of forces and other adaptive tactics, CD will affect all forms of intelligence gathering, including space-based assets, making them less effective and harder to employ. b. Space operational environment.
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TRADOC Pam 525-7-4
(1) Space is a distinct operating environment that is different from land, air, and sea domains. Space assets transcend geographical borders unimpeded. Since there are no recognized political boundaries in space, satellites enjoy open skies global coverage. Although space transcends geographical borders, it is the subject of international and domestic laws, regulations, and national policy. While there is no formal definition of where space begins, the treaty known as the, Outer Space Treaty of 1967, describes the lower boundary of space as the lowest perigee attainable by an orbiting space vehicle. The fundamental difference between the space and air domains is that objects in space orbit the earth while objects in the air domain flyover the earth. In this concept orbital space is defined as that region above km mean sea level (MSL).
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Figure 2-1 provides an illustration of the region of orbital space.
(2) Operations in space area primary enabler of the information revolution. Space operations and information management capabilities are interdependent. Space systems are critical in moving high volumes of data at great speed, over vast distances to enable the formation of interactive, globally networked databases that provide support to industry, government, and our military forces. The Army must identify its requirements in the development of these systems early, in order to leverage their capabilities in support of Army future Modular Force operations.

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