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Aspiration to Operation: LMI's Four Key Concepts to Convert Next-Generation, Service-Specific Doctrines into Overwhelming Joint Force Combat Power in the Indo-Pacific

Jonathan Baba Innovation at the Pace of Need™, Defense Modernization, Mission Engineering

Tides are changing in the Indo-Pacific. Increased People’s Republic of China (PRC) provocations are destabilizing the region and sending Taiwan tidal waves of concern. The U.S. is pursuing a peace through strength policy designed to deter regional conflict and protect its strategic allies, mission partners, and vital national interests. In FY2023, this policy—enshrined in law as the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI)—invests billions in military activities to make the Joint Force an instrument of overwhelming combat power in the Indo-Pacific. This strategy incorporates lessons learned from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to create conditions preclusive to similar PRC action against Taiwan. 

America is deterring PRC military action in the Pacific through a collective approach of Military, Economic, and Diplomatic activities. To complicate the matter, America must successfully execute our military deterring mandate under contested conditions across every warfighting domain, dimension, and function, against a peer threat halfway around the world. 

Individual services have taken initiative in executing the PDI. The Army, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Marine Corps have all published next-generation warfighting doctrines designed to develop the Joint Force.1 Each doctrine stresses joint all-domain operations (JADO) principles and promises increased cross-service interoperability. These doctrines address the unique challenges that come with fighting a peer force under the tyranny of distance imposed in the Indo-Pacific. Their embrace of distributed operations, data-driven decision-making, and dynamic fires—incorporating assets in cyberspace, in space, and across all conventional domains—is an unprecedented evolution in American military thinking. If executed as envisioned, they could create the Joint Force combat power sufficient to sustain peace through strength in the Indo-Pacific. At present, however, these emergent doctrines are more aspirational than operational. 

Research shows that there are substantive concerns in realizing full scale implementation of these doctrine.

  1. America’s modern military infrastructure and its supporting information, acquisition, sustainment, and logistics ecosystems form an inadequate apparatus to supply and sustain the sheer volume and variety of resources that these doctrines demand.
  2. Despite their common commitments, these service-specific doctrines remain siloed and, under resource constrained conditions, are likely to result in inefficient allocation and expenditure.

These realities create a fundamental tension between innovative ideas and operational readiness. Addressing these tensions is a national imperative. 

LMI—America’s trusted leader in military logistics for more than 60 years—has considered this conundrum from all angles and come up with four key concepts necessary for its resolution:

  1. Next-generation C2
  2. Dynamic logistics
  3. In-theater infrastructure
  4. Full-spectrum protection.  

Together, these concepts help visualize the operational environment, harmonize assets across it, and enable Joint Force Commanders to create the overwhelming combat power America needs to deter the PRC in the Indo-Pacific. 

Learn more about LMI’s paradigm-shifting vision and how we are already advancing it in partnership with DoD.

1 The Marine Corps recently published a next-generation warfighting doctrine. By its own definition, Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO) is “tightly coupled with the Navy’s Concept for Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO).” Having analyzed the Tentative Manual for Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations, Second Edition (May 2023), LMI assesses that EABO is subject to the same two issues affecting its coordinate Army, Navy, and Air Force doctrines. Therefore, LMI excluded EABO from this paper. However, upon request, LMI can detail its analysis of EABO.

  • “LMI—America’s trusted leader in military logistics for more than 60 years—has considered this conundrum from all angles and come up with four key concepts necessary for its resolution.”

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Jonathan Baba Headshot

Jonathan Baba

Sr. Vice President, Defense Market 703-917-9800

Jonathan Baba

Sr. Vice President, Defense Market

Jon Baba leads LMI’s defense market, where he is responsible for fostering customer and partner relationships, managing profit and loss, acquiring new business, and championing LMI’s strategic plan, vision, and goals.

Scot Stitely Headshot

Scot Stitely

Vice President, Defense Business Development 301-471-1722

Scot Stitely

Vice President, Defense Business Development

Scot leads LMI’s defense market business development team’s strategic planning activities, including identifying growth targets and solution and core offering development.