The New Look of Deterrence

Superior command and control will enable the US to prevent war by confronting enemies with too many perils to handle, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said at AWS17. The ability to “create multiple dilemmas from multiple domains”—air, space, cyber, land, sea, and undersea—“at a pace that will overwhelm any enemy and deny him the ability to do the same … that’s deterrence in the 21st century.” It will be critical to create a common operating picture for all elements of the joint fighting force, Goldfein said, challenging industry to develop the sinews that will make that encompassing network real and resilient. He also pledged that the Air Force stands ready to do all it can to provide a welcoming environment for new ideas that it didn’t come up with on its own, toward making the so-called “combat cloud” a reality. “We get this,” Goldfein said, arguing that USAF is already thinking this way and is applying the concept as much as it is now able. “We have to think about … creating that common operating picture.” He held out as an example the Uber system of ride-sharing, noting that the application shows users where Uber cars are, and clicking on any one tells where it’s going, the name of the driver, make of the car, estimated time of arrival, etc. “Is that the future?” he asked. “Why not?”