The U.S. military held a classified wargame in October of 2020, and it did not go well. In the words of Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. John Hyten, “without overstating the issue, it failed miserably,” and they “ran rings around us.” What stood out the most in this failure was that the U.S., which is heavily reliant on its networks, lost access to them almost immediately. Tara Copp of DefenseOne writes (abridged):
A brutal loss in a wargaming exercise last October convinced the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. John Hyten to scrap joint warfighting concepts that had guided U.S. military operations for decades.
“Without overstating the issue, it failed miserably. An aggressive red team that had been studying the United States for the last 20 years just ran rings around us. They knew exactly what we’re going to do before we did it,” Hyten told an audience Monday at the launch of the Emerging Technologies Institute, an effort by the National Defense Industrial Association industry group to speed military modernization.
The Pentagon would not provide the name of the wargame, which was classified, but a defense official said one of the scenarios revolved around a battle for Taiwan. One key lesson: gathering ships, aircraft, and other forces to concentrate and reinforce each other’s combat power also made them sitting ducks.
“We always aggregate to fight, and aggregate to survive. But in today’s world, with hypersonic missiles, with significant long-range fires coming at us from all domains, if you’re aggregated and everybody knows where you are, you’re vulnerable,” Hyten said.
Even more critically, the blue team lost access to its networks almost immediately. […]
The October exercise was a test for a new Joint Warfighting Concept. But the new joint concept had been largely based on the same joint operations concepts that had guided forces for decades, Hyten said, and the red team easily defeated them.
After the October loss, the Joint Chiefs began an overhaul and shifted toward a new concept they call “Expanded Maneuver.” Hyten wants the U.S. military to be ready to fight under this overhauled Joint Warfighting Concept by 2030, using many of today’s weapons, aircraft, and ships. […]
Earlier this month, Hyten released four directives to the services: one each for contested logistics; joint fires; Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or JADC2; and information advantage. On Monday, he revealed new details about these “functional battles.”
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