Touch Points in Emerging Capabilities: Cyber, Space, and Special Operations

  • Colonel Mark E. Orwat

A key effort in developing Joint Force 2020 is to “pioneer new ways to combine and employ emergent capabilities such as cyber, Special Forces, and ISR” and “examine organizational and other force development changes to better leverage game-changing capabilities.” Individually, the emerging capabilities are maturing in capability, capacity, and integration into military operations. However, collectively, the emerging capabilities are not advancing with respect to each other. This strategic research paper draws from my personal experience working in the three emergent areas and includes a comprehensive review of visionary concepts such as Joint Force 2020, SOCOM 2020, and LandCyber 2018-2030. Major touch points exist between emerging capabilities in terms of interoperable technology, organizational integration, and combined effects that will enable self-synchronization among networked cyber, space, and Special Operations Forces in support of the Joint Force. This research establishes touch points that allow networked emerging capabilities to achieve decentralized, coordinated action and effects through the human domain, improving the agility and effectiveness of the Joint Force.