Tactical Art in Future Wars

The flurry of self-congratulatory prose emerging from multi-domain warfare literature today obscures the fact that a slogan such as “multi-domain” is not doctrine, and doctrine rooted in the fundamental tenets of warfare is a prerequisite for meaningful reform.

Nowhere is the gap between sloganeering and meaningful doctrine more evident than at the tactical level. The thesis of multi-domain operations is that emerging technologies have added new dimensions to the traditional combined and joint layers of warfare: artillery, infantry, armor and air power. These new dimensions include space, cyber, electronic warfare, and information, among others. The literature suggests that new scientific developments will influence warfare principally in space and cyberspace.

But there is more to war than firing digits in space and cyberspace. As Prussian Gen. Wilhelm Balck famously professed: “Bullets quickly write new tactics.”

Balck was one of a class of experienced, practical soldiers who sought a doctrinal solution to overcome the

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