JED - January 2010 - (Page 33)

Senior Leadership Outreach Maneuver in the Domain Electromagnetic Y ’ You’ve got to b i i to win i ! be in it i it! By Wg Cdr John Clifford, OBE, RAF Ret. t the beginning of Operation Enduring FreedomAfghanistan (OEF-A) (Oct 7, 2001) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) (Mar 20, 2003), it was a given that coalition forces were operating in an environment that was well understood. The operational environments, urban or rural, might be challenging, harsh even, but lay well within the operational capabilities of coalition forces. Once the high intensity war-fighting phases were over, little if any conventional military action by the defeated adversaries was expected or in fact experienced. With decades of western military thinking, long established doctrine and cuttingedge military capability, what could possibly go wrong? Well, just suppose that the US, UK and other coalition partners had misunderstood the operational environment? Sure, we knew about the land domain, the air domain, the space domain and the maritime domain and they all played and continue to play vital roles. We even understood the information environment, at least in terms of getting information to coalition forces, although perhaps not in terms of influencing others. What was missed in truth was the importance of another war-fighting maneuver space, the electromagnetic domain (EMD). activities. By 2007 the Washington Post reported that around two-thirds of US casualties were due to IEDs. A tipping point was reached with the realization that the coalition had been TIPPING POINT What wasn’t expected was the asymmetric and terrorist equivalent of “shock and awe.” When, that is, Iraqi insurgents, Al-Qaeda and then the Taliban, began to exploit the electromagnetic domain in a way never before done on such a scale, to kill coalition forces with Remote Controlled Improvised Explosive Devices (RCIEDs). Many hundreds, if not more, coalition warfighters were killed, maimed or traumatized by these wrong footed, that a massive effort was needed to tackle the problem, and that whatever had gone wrong couldn’t ever be allowed to go wrong again. JED readers will be only too aware of the huge effort that went into defeating this unexpected use of the EM environment by adversaries. This article is not just about honoring all coalition warfighters in these conflicts; neither is it just about recognizing the astonishing achievements of the many thousands of workers, scientists, engineers, policy makers and procurement staff who contributed to their substantive defeat. It is about ensuring that never again will we be caught out through failure to recognize the operational maneuver space that is the EMD.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - January 2010

JED - January 2010
The View From Here
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Asia-Pacifi c EW: All Eyes on China?
Maneuver in the EM Domain
Technology Survey: Surface Naval Expendables and Launchers
EW 101
AOC Industry/Institute/University Members
Index of Advertisers
JED Sales Offices

JED - January 2010