The joint force supported by Second Offset technologies ensured U.S. military preeminence in the post-Vietnam era well into the 21st century. By moving to the deployment of an integrated joint force using Multi-Domain Battle as an operational concept, the United States can provide like-minded nations the opportunity to become truly interoperable, and, when necessary, seamlessly transition from the most effective deterrent to a lethal and agile military force capable of defeating any adversary.
Multi-Domain Battle has many flaws, but its most fatal is that as presently envisioned it risks being an underachiever. The United States, if it is to re-exert its global position, needs a military strategic concept that is more than just an iterative update of Air/Land Battle. It needs one that is great, if not revolutionary. Those designing Multi-Domain Battle are right in seeking a land force able to contest and win the fight in and across all domains, and which takes advantage of technological advances in connectivity, visibility, and lethality. This is a good start, but only if it nests Multi-Domain Battle within a military and national strategy.
Major military innovation is often accompanied by tension between the camps representing the old guard who fight to preserve their place in the existing way of war and the disrupters who lay claim to a potential new order. There is much at stake in these cultural struggles in which fights over status, authority, budget, and pathways to high rank are relatively minor manifestations when considered alongside the main event—military effectiveness in future wars. However, Multi-Domain Battle as the U.S. Army’s future warfighting concept has not yet faced much challenge or criticism, at least not in public.