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Dr. Salvador Raza *


The defense establishment is entering an era in which the advantages of the widespread application of advanced technology, increasing specialization in the labor force, and the integrative effects of rapid communications have conferred to transformed forces designed to be small, lethal, highly responsive, dispersed, and networked. Current transformational trends have caused the emergence of new standards and criteria for military performance. Enforcing outdated operational parameters more efficiently will not produce the advantages of the information era essential for the warfare landscapes of tomorrow. Defense decision makers are pressed to review their force designing processes to assure that critical thinking and new decision making logic blend seamlessly with the accomplishment of forward-looking ability in security outcomes. To succeed, such reviews must correctly design tomorrow’s military profile, in conjunction with present force transformation guidelines, adequately enough to meet future forms of the use of force or threat of use in support of defense missions embodying the national will.

The paper shows a decision logic based on force design as the organizing principle for defense planning. Force design provides the conceptual warp and weft-giving pattern to the fabric of military capability by blending strategic situational awareness and critical thinking with forward-looking ability and reengineering efficiency. The logical model of force design outlined as a framework provides a set of critical relationships underlying the bewildering complexity involved in transforming military capabilities, and the attributes used in structuring choices. It enumerates stages and explains causal drivers within and across the component processes of these stages. Through these attributes, force designers can explain assumptions and clearly state propositions addressing the relevant uncertainties under which a given choice is proposed, examined, carried out, and eventually executed. Equally important, the force design logic frames the questions about priorities and interests, resource allocation criteria, and institutional arrangements involved in defense decision-making in the information era. It acts as a device to help divide transactions into segments, distinguished by their individual actions and purposes. The paper concludes by stating that success will ultimately be measured by the efficiency, efficacy, and economy of defense resource allocation or, in the negative alternative, by the degree of withering of the national will regarding the desired state of security of the nation that an integrated project of defense describes.

* Dr. Salvador Raza is professor of National Security Affairs at the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies of the National Defense University (CHDS/NDU). Washington, D.C., USA. The content and structure of this paper was elaborated based on similar work developed by Dr. Salvador Raza and Dr. Craig Deare Reviewing Senior Military Education Curricula for an Era of Transformation presented at the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society (IUS): Canada 2004.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.


It is not worth arguing extensively with anyone who does not realize that the information age is the greatest complex of discovery and achievement of applied technology shaping how armed forces will transform the way they plan, organized, manage, combat, and support in the future. The concept of defense transformation, however, is remarkably puzzling as our knowledge of the truths of the chain of causality lead to a transformed force. All it can be perceived are the contingencies between processes. What we experience in defense transformation is an attempt, often driven by necessity, of reducing the uncertainty and complexity of hedging power through a series of assumptions about how the pattern of future contingencies will emerge pressed by technological possibilities. A concept which was one of the results of the emergence of the revolution in military warfare. In this context, the decision on force alternatives requires the understanding of a series of rules and conditions that authorize cause and effect relationships linked in the flux of association of re-association of the components of the defense system. The central tenet of this demand is direct related to the requirement of predicting the degree to which results can be coordinated, which is function of a networked command and control (C2), communications and computing (C2) enabling elements of the force components linked through doctrine to intelligence (I), surveillance (S) and reconnaissance (R), to constitute the enacting mechanisms of enhanced C4ISR (E-C4ISR): the increasing intrusion of mind into defense matters, at the same time when the mental confusion of the information age is still predominant. E-C4ISR will provide support for the employment of a capability according to novel operational requirements: an adaptive control system seeking to influence selected aspects of an operating environment, supported by a variety of information systems 1 . Its functionality progresses across the full range of possible tasks, directing, and monitoring operations at the joint and combined levels and supporting effective end-to-end management. This includes land and space communications, improved interoperability, and joint capabilities, and the integration of automated information to ensure that commanders share the suitable (consistent with task requirements), complete (task relevant) and accurate (error-free) knowledge that they will require. Jointness and E-C4ISR are influential factors in facilitating the composite of relationships required to produce an assembly of military capability. These two elements exist in a continuum of interdependencies across the spectrum of possible capabilities alternatives, configuring a process support system of factors that orient, develop and constrain the dynamic organization of military assets, operational organizations, objectives and tasks, in order to provide different types of capabilities. Such a system can be thought of as a rationalization code operating in interrelated processes, increasing the variance of a military capability. Those codes are formulated as a set of accepted rules and values that mediate the relationship between military assets, operational structures, and objectives and tasks, adapting itself and influencing this relationship in response to changes in the technological horizon and in the intellectual superstructure that define the security and defense requirements. Therefore, they need to be revaluated periodically if not on an ongoing basis.

Jointness and E-C4ISR enforce complementariness (and inhibit customs that produce antagonisms) between different structuring criteria used to define military assets, operational organizations, objectives, and tasks. They provide the principle of organization for defense transformation.


Force design is a decision making system designed to ensure that the proper assembly of future effective and efficient military capabilities is economically identified, developed, organized, fielded, and supported to be instrumental in policy alternatives backed by strategic possibilities. Within this operational definition, ―design‖ is related to a proposed solution to a perceived problem, presented with necessary and sufficient details to guide a course of action and evaluate its outcomes, and ―force‖ is the composite of future military capabilities which have been formulated to attend to defense requirements in response to strategic demands needed in enforcing the nation-state’s right to self- determination. Force design elicits the concept that defense reform is not an end in itself, but rather an action needed for reasons of both opportunity and necessity. Solving an equation by integrating the complete array of possibilities for arranging force components to meet future strategic needs is the challenge that force design faces. The specific and limited purpose of force planning within force design is determining the quantitative dimension, organization, and spatial distribution of military assets in association with a specific concept of employment for a determined theater of operations, based on a given defense mission and a desired state of security (generally expressed in terms of budget allocation). Force design, therefore, is the reference example for force planning. It provides planning guidance while incorporating operational alternatives as a condition of possibility for its designing purposes. Although they have a complementary purpose, they do not fuse into one all-encompassing process. Force design is the master of force planning; recognizing that, one can see that the servant enables the designing requirements of force design. When these roles are inverted, or when force design simply does not exist, force planning begins to impose limits on political-level alternatives. The tail wags the dog; politicians can do no more than what the military says it can do (or thinks it should do), making military planners the master of policy. Force design results an articulated defense project are a policy statement, policy made manifest. It expresses the declaratory posture of the state regarding its perception of a desired state of security, in which its citizen’s values, way of life and expectations are not threatened and, if they were, the state’s willingness to apply force to ensure their protection. In this role, force design is the servant of foreign policy, carrying messages that may range from a vague statement towards peace to a firm commitment to war. In this manner force design can be seen to contribute to the state’s political debate, i.e., meeting a popular demand though a declaration of intentions backed by defense capabilities. Force design changes the way we think about defense planning. It is a shift away from rote practice based on doctrine texts and toward engagement with the flux relationship of theory and experiment, the cutting edge of conceiving knowledge. It is the way of bringing consistency to bear upon chance, learning to be open-ended and constantly evolving in concept formation to describe common traits and competing hypothesis. Force design links the routinely assessment, planning, resource allocation, evaluation, and control activities and major structural reforms into a single theoretically consistent process. Central to this streamlined approach is a coherent process for making trade-offs between competing alternatives in the designing horizons, as they horizons are defined within the force design process as dependent variable. Deliberate and informed judgment are made effective in determining the point at which further increments in performance requirements no longer are achieved with additional increment in currently practiced force structure components and no longer justify the additional increment in cost.

The force design framework institutionalizes a procedure whereby review groups are able to establish and change capabilities features in a timely and orderly manner. At the core of this proposition is a conceptual framework which integrates three simultaneous planning horizons that accounts for the rationale for adaptation, modernization and transformation. In conjunction, they promote a more perceptive discourse among defense agencies fostering purposeful joint actions, which asseverates Eugene Bardach’s assessment that ―Jointness creates several possible sources of new value‖. 2 While accepting that the operational configuration of existing methodologies for defense planning has not to change radically, their foundations might be determined by the adaptative logic on which force design depends. In the perspective of this logic, the capabilities and its required readiness necessary to succefully perform a selected range of tasks can clearly be achieved with different (eventually smaller forces) without a necessary corresponding revision of underlying policy conceptions. That would certainly include exercising much more robust managerial control over the processes and procedures used to create the force. In short, force design promotes a substantial shift in conceptual perspective, offering the possibility of linking the up-front analysis, concept development, planning, programs development and integration, milestone defragmentation, budget building and systemic evaluation of defense capabilities into a single theoretical consistent framework in advancing national defense objectives.


The force design framework the criterial structure of the methodology - is a conjunct of knowledge, presented in the form of propositions and assumptions, logically ordered, and assumed to be valid for investigating problem types with the expectation of obtaining a stable, anticipated solution type. The logical ordering of its components is provided by the axiology used, which emphasizes the existence of a common set of concepts linked to a model that simplifies the complex interaction of the force design processes. This axiology is a utility function that provides a chronology of constantly changing events that creates recurring patterns (dependent variables) after causative variables (dependent variables). The force design framework is composed by three logic blocksCogitare, Prospicere, Renovatio, 3 the purpose of which is to specify the scope and scale of military capability, translating them into force alternative requirements in association with the condition for its intended use.

COGITARE (REFLECT UPON) The Cogitare block defines an articulated system of decisions aiming to interpret and transform the intended and defined national purpose into defense objectives that could be pragmatically achieved though rational actions and available means. To achieve its purpose, this logical block determines the valid rules of transformation of information, products and processes required to achieve defense objectives in order to orient the formulation of criteria for the evaluation of the relationship between those objectives, the transformation processes and its outcomes. The literature 4 divides this reflective process into two generic categories: political- strategic evaluation and defense policy formulation, oriented to define the intended use of force, to establish a set of sustained policy objectives that results from the intercourse of security and defense interests and commitments, and to promulgate a set of self-reliant design guidelines to instruct the development and evaluation of military capabilities. History has shown that the problem within extant approaches to the Cogitare block lies within those procedures through which policy objectives are defined and the pseudo-

legitimacy that the designing guidelines tends to acquire through the process of formulating and implementing the decisions taken. It is inherent that decisions made at this preliminary stage become the defense demands applied to successive stages of “analysis”, i.e., analysis in fact ends at the Cogitare stage, setting in motion the actions required to deliberately regulate and direct changes in military capabilities, but they do not thereby make all desirable things possible. The value of this set of actions is in that it helps to understand the purposes and meaning of reform actions, helping to put in place the proper amount of effort to overcome the problems involved in designing and marshaling military capabilities, but it is not an end unto itself.

PROSPICERE (LOOK AHEAD) The purpose of the Prospicere block is to provide reference scenario-space (or mission-area) both for the evaluation of the validity of policy guidelines and current capabilities and for the anticipation of future capabilities requirements. Its primary function is to serve as the mechanism by which objectives are transformed into detailed capability requirements for anticipated mission areas. This is an epistemological necessity for a framework capable of developing hypotheses about the future. The variety of component elements within these hypotheses depends on two factors: the dimensions of complexity and time. The dimensions of complexity deal with the numbers of chains of events 5 considered representative of the objective hypothesis about the future. Wider and more complex objective hypotheses make implicit a more broadly possible/probable chain of events, requiring an analysis using differentiated logic (differential equations). Similarly, hypothesizing longer time spans implies a repeated bifurcation in the chain of events as actions cause reactions that create further reactions.


Adaptation 6 seeks to maximize the efficacy of military capabilities, exploring interoperability, jointness, and C4ISR to better integrate military assets and operational structures, regulated by the scope of doctrine, readiness requirements, and the rules of engagement (regulating factors). The emphasis is on operational forces capable of responding quickly and decisively to the needs of specific tasks. A defense reform that defines itself in this way often finds it very difficult to venture outside the dominant orientation of the current concepts of employment, since they incorporate implicitly, if not explicitly, judgments of the importance of operational functions in achieving defense goals. Patterns of technology exploration have a tendency to make designers react in predictable ways. Capabilities born of usual circumstances become the norm, creating imitative designs with diminishing returns in terms of performance bonuses for changes in force components with the ability to cut through the competitive defense environment. Improvements sought through adaptation only might be proven grossly insufficient. However, if they are, the exercise degenerates into a costly series of actions that fail to secure cumulative improvements, which establishes a strong mind-set against real change. Despite the appeal of ―more of the same‖, when the frontier of adaptation is gone, one must develop ways of thinking that nurture new technologies, organizations and processes that will prevent dampening the innovativeness of capabilities that actually can be generated by modernization.


Modernization 7 replaces aging weapon systems and changes the dimensional characteristics of force structure components, creating other possibilities for rearrangement of military capabilities that would not otherwise exist. The final size

(dimensional requirements) and scope (possibilities created though the reform of defense components without a dimensional modification) of force structure components define the range of tactical possibilities in response to defense objectives. However, any premise for supposing possible future military capabilities remains valid as a function of its present utility only as long as the evolving orientation of all political forces adheres to the pattern currently woven into its fabric. Rules do change. The act of modernization often is seen as being propelled by the procurement of sophisticated, state-of-the-art, and technologies. Yet its effectiveness can be enhanced through relatively less expensive technologies that increase interoperability and jointness so that assets from all services become better able to work together or through measures designed simply to increase operational readiness. Modernization alone, however, may fail to see opportunities for larger gains through those possibilities geared toward new ways of thinking. Furthermore, particularly in a fast-changing technological environment, modernization can be dangerously myopic in that actions taken to achieve gains may acquire a momentum that will be difficult to reverse. In essence, modernization seeks patterns of diversification closely interrelated with the predominant system of concepts and planning framework, reflecting a preference for concentrating on a relatively narrow set of changes rather than one spread more broadly. Over time, the ability of the armed forces to compete solely on the basis of technological superiority may become eroded, tending to make military capabilities less effective when confronted with the need to make changes that render existing ways of thinking technologically obsolete.


Transformation 8 changes patterns of thinking, creating the new parameters for assessment of efficiency and efficacy. Transformation seeks to create a differential of capability against competing forces, making obsolete all previous capabilities, regardless of its efforts toward adaptation and modernization. Transformation elects uncertainty over predictability and unsettled relationships among force components and defense tasks over a proven, efficient structure. The investment in leadership is likely to be higher, and some time may elapse before a net benefit is obtained. However, when these benefits are perceptibly accrued, they make obsolete the existing force components and even intuition in the creation of tasking possibilities. A striking feature of these results is a differential in military capability that enhances the ability of defense in developing new alternatives or improving the uniqueness or other qualities of existing possibilities. The qualitative and quantitative dimensions of transforming military capabilities demand a rethinking not only of specific technologies incorporated into products and processes but also of doctrine and organizational culture, with its implications for tactical, strategic and political possibilities alike. In the prosficcional horizon, new forms of defense organizations and weapons systems will be less likely to be characterized as ―purely‖ military, with their own shortcomings, and so on, with no end in sight. Transformation leads to concepts not yet dreamed of, but also to a new understanding of the limitations of current theories Transformation, therefore, is more than exploring the aspects of demonstrated technologies derived from a revolution in military affairs (RMA). It goes beyond the rhetoric of changes and gradual advances in the incorporation of new assets or the revision of tasks. Transformation excites the imagination, encouraging thinking ―outside of the box,‖ necessary for responding to unexpected challenges with a menu of choices to do something different. It causes a rupture of the anemia stemming from the lack of innovative vitality in defense thinking and derogates the lethargy of conceptual systems

and analytical frameworks that have not actively explored ways of improving their own ability to produce transformed military capabilities. The role and importance of transformation is a third factor influencing force design alternatives, a factor through which defense confronts ever-changing challenges and opportunities. In essence, transformation is an attitude toward assuming a competitive pattern of decisions in order to keep up with uncertainties. This need tends to take precedence over established competitive advantages that create other dimensions of effectiveness. 9 Transformation actions, however, should not ignore the possible risks and costs of attempting to create a variety of options and retain as much flexibility as possible, disregarding relatively simple adaptation and modernization rules for coping with complexity and uncertainty.


Adaptation, modernization, and transformation processes develop simultaneously over time, each one regulated by different factors and affecting specific components and relationships of the force design components. This simultaneity allows the resolution of the apparent paradox of force design, expressed by the simultaneous necessity of military capability requirements sufficiently stable for planning purposes and sufficiently dynamic to take into account a continuous process of change in the environment force design environment. Projective assumptions establish criteria for evaluating the acceptance of the dispersion of temporal series; prospective assumptions establish a reference for judging the acceptance of preserving the propensity-based relationship among prospective events; and prosficcional assumptions are used for judging the limits of validity of the induction of truth in inductive links. Together, these assumptions are used to establish the conditions of possibility for the force design alternatives, regulating adaptation, modernization, and transformation possibilities, respectively. The coexistence of these three horizons refutes the traditional assumption of a unique and continuous horizon with a hierarchy of segmented elements: short, medium, and long-term intervals. Such intervals are arbitrary, nothing but a pseudo-scientific categorization imposed upon uncertainty. In other words, error that improperly transfers to Category-z, non-verifiable, brings impreciseness to the process of defining the limits of forecasting. The simultaneity of these processes hedges against risks at many levels, yielding the flexibility that defense reform initiatives are likely to need. Neither the diagnosis of situations nor the choices of action for dealing with them are rigidly prescribed or determined by only one of these three processes 10 . The complexity of military reforms is in the simultaneity in time and space of those three processes. This complexity becomes a limitation to forecasting only in the absence of a fully developed force design capability. The combined effect of these three horizons (or either horizon taken to an extreme) generates a host of uncertain possibilities and probabilities, making results meaningless or even conflictive. Thus, an organizing criterion, grouping mission areas into categories, is useful as ―authoritative‖ information on the domains that future defense capabilities are to address, ensuring that this information does not employ contradictory assumptions of factors 11 . War scenarios-space encompasses missions that demand the violent use of force either offensively or defensively. In spite of many efforts, there is no accepted war categorization and no legitimacy in adherence to past practice and usage in warfare. A state’s objectives will vary, as will its commitment to use force as an alternative to compel an enemy to do its will. The majority of the world has ordained the exercise of

force to insure the survival of freedom within democracy when naught but force will accomplish its objective of ―survival in the present form‖

Crisis and OOTW scenarios-space anticipate a situation where both means and the intention of violent use of force are limited, this limitation being contingent and temporally determined in accordance with values, customs and practices implicitly recognized and accepted by the parties in conflict. Missions in crisis and OOTW scenarios are oriented either to actions of presence, performed in a routine way, with concealed and indirect intentions, or though missions involving a deliberate exercise of limited force. Luttwak calls the latter suasion, with the approximate meaning of coercion. In both forms, crisis missions aim to evoke a specific reaction by means of deliberately planned and executed actions or signals 12 .

Environment-shaping scenarios-space aim to prevent either crises or war though the manipulation of the adversary’s perception of the costs and benefits of using force, at the least possible cost to one’s own political stability, economic development and social welfare. The emphasis in environment-shaping missions is on molding patterns of thinking or behavior, where it is assumed that the desired resulting effect will come though the system of values held by the target state.

Disaster relief scenarios-space depicts after-effect missions in the case of natural disaster, or missions related to prevention and reaction for search and rescue of lives and material. The use of military capabilities to fulfill the task requirements of disaster relief scenarios emphasizes the peacetime use of the command and control and the logistics components of force structure, exploring its permanent organization and its usually adequate degree of readiness.

Law enforcement scenarios-space defines missions related to public security, border control (immigration and customs), and counter-narcotics. Defense law enforcement missions support, substitute, or complement police activities. Though it may seen unlikely at first glance that these categories could held any possible future demand of use of force for political purposes which are to be found in our contemporary culture, the fact is that they provide the core logic of rationality for prototype decisions. These categories yield sets of scenario-space (or mission-area) instructive for building intellectual logical inferences which give compelling coherence to set of required capabilities, and instructive to reflect upon the relationships of the defense construct which will contribute to this momentum. From an ontological perspective, scenarios-space is a defective selection of expected attributes of the future. Each scenario derives from many others in an infinite progression, from which one extracts only those that are currently judged as important. Therefore, any suggestion that force design should take into consideration all possible scenarios does not correspond to the logical possibilities of current human capabilities in identifying and linking events. There will always be interconnections rich in importance that will not be adequately recognized or considered. Notwithstanding, from a methodological perspective, scenarios are a necessity for supporting the formulation of hypotheses. These scenario-space serve to define problem which receive intellectual scrutiny; they identify what data are pertinent enough to justify the effort required to develop an keep defense capabilities; they provide coherent explanation for the central phenomena with which force design concerns itself. In short, scenario-space provides a necessary coherent intellectual framework for organized design endeavor. Each set of scenarios-space is therefore recognized by its functionality for force design purposes, and thus defined as valid (or not), subjected to the ruling structure that links its development codes. These codes will limit constraint and determine the valid and non-valid decisions in force design, ascribing the strengths and weaknesses of current and

future military capabilities within three simultaneous patterns: adaptation, modernization and transformation. RENOVATIO (REENGINEER) In the Renovatio block, force design is doing more than asking what can be built. It is engaged in reflection about what defense capabilities are and what they can be, creating the tools for the action(s) that will bring them forward. In order to define the resources that force design might use, it looks backward to those trends that have formed the current capabilities and looks forward to the as-yet-undeveloped technologies, maintaining or/and bringing forth different kinds of commitments, opening up a space for communication actions within the context of a network of interests, concealment and resistance. It provides the designer a way of identifying each capabilities profile, presenting its most noteworthy characteristics; decomposing this profile in capabilities requirements and translating them into program demands and budget requirements. In a broader sense, the purpose of this block is to facilitate the allocation, coordination and utilization of fiscal, material, human, organizational and information resources. It assures an implementation dependency of theoretical resources, ensuring a fundamental traceability link between design requirements and implementation, integrated into a composite set of defense reform requirements. The pervasiveness of these requirements is not always appreciated. To be effective, reengineering military capabilities requirements must support (through a specific and consistent pattern of decisions) the tasks being sought by the force components. For example, decisions to increase tactical readiness would be very different if the desired capability were instrumental for a concept of employment dedicated to a scenario emphasizing long-term mobilization. Similarly, research and development decisions regarding the selection of technologies to be pursued, whether to concentrate intensively on highly professional weapons systems or, in the other extreme, to be conscript/labor intensive with regard to personnel. How the characteristics of capabilities subparts are defined determines the accuracy and precision of (1) normative forecasting and (2) resource allocation. The greater the separation between subparts, the easier it is to configure specific needs for assigned objectives. However, carried to the extreme, it can lead to the separation of parts that should be dedicated to a common objective, hampering the relationship among parts and thereby compromising the outcome.


Normative forecasting 13 deals with the built and relationship of programs and projects for linking capability requirements to budget possibilities, providing homomorphism to a similar system of fiscal and production possibilities from a set of intentions. Normative forecasting, therefore, is an agent of transformation from one set (force components requirements) to another (budget), which preserves in the second the interrelationships between the members of the first set [thus the relevance of the capability construct]. Projects then implement initiatives for modification, enhancement, or development in order to meet program requirements and interfaces. Some projects may develop a technical infrastructure, and others may develop fiscal management functionalities. Normative forecasting decisions are made regarding the level of aggregation of entities and process requirements appropriate for assuring specific capabilities requirements, determining whether its outcome will be represented as a single entity, as a composite of subsystem entities, or as a composite of composites of ever smaller entities (to whatever level of aggregation is needed for the purpose of force design). These decisions are made in attendance to three unyielding principles:

Aggregation criteria influence how a problem is attacked and how a solution is shaped.

Every program may be expressed at different levels of precision.

No single program is sufficient to refer to all military capabilities.

These principles suggest that normative forecasting is essentially a craft that has not yet matured into methodologies. As programs grew in size and complexity following the diversity of capacity demands for the post-Cold War, with its new threats and emerging technologies, the attitude towards programming changed. Instead of meticulous codes and rigid categories for programming, force design increasingly distends the projects component of programs in an array of capabilities packages. Just as dwellings are built with standardized fittings, programs integrated by capabilities-package projects are built out of modular, interchangeable elements. This is not only good engineering practice; it is also the modern way of making something the size of a defense system work exceptionally well. The major objective of defense reengineering renovation - is to define the appropriate measurements of individual capabilities, as well the set of capabilities as a whole. Such measurements must take into account the considerable uncertainty as to the functionality of the resulting capabilities in terms of defense objectives. In programming, force design is confronted from time to time with the need to make changes that render existing force components, concepts of employment or regulating factors obsolete. Force design must also take into account that ―change‖ has costs, whether made or ignored. Change reduces investment, delays replacement of old equipment, allows the performance of force components to deteriorate by reducing maintenance, etc. Yet ―not to change‖ demands the persistent replacement of assets based on the same technology reducing the state’s level of security vis-à-vis an evolving threat capability. The development of these program requirements demands making those designing elements, assumptions and driving forces explicit, providing the necessary transparency to the design process through which the policy level enforces its control over military decisions. Using the three horizons defined by adaptation, modernization, and transformation possibilities, makes it easier to identify the types of decisions required for each program and highlights the needs of proper resource allocation. Therefore, normative forecasting beyond the simple optimization of present programs, that is, the establishment of a equilibrium among present tasks and present resources, is the result of changes in defense objectives and resources relationships, and hence ―politics‖, which places defense inside the economic system itself. In fact, defense resource allocation exists in a dynamic disequilibrium brought on by force design, rather than equilibrium and optimization. Dynamic resource allocation is the ―norm‖ in an agile

and responsive defense system which seeks effective normative forecasting driven by purposeful innovation.


Resource allocation is deciding how to allocate human, production, informational, and fiscal possibilities among various competing programming outcomes. The essence of resource allocation is the commitment of present resources to future expectations, and that means to risks and uncertainty. It is the specific instrument of innovation because it endows resources with production possibilities to create capabilities. Therefore, resource allocation provokes changes that are beyond the simple optimization of present budgets, that is, the establishment of a equilibrium among present tasks and present resources, is the result in future changes in defense objectives, tasks, organization, and resources relationships, and hence ―politics‖, which places defense

inside the economic system itself. In defense resource allocation, dynamic disequilibrium brought on by force design, rather than equilibrium and optimization, is the ―norm‖ of Human resource allocation, in the force design model, begins with the assignment of qualified personnel to oversee the complexities of force design, thus providing the crucial linkages between production possibilities and fiscal resources within which schedules are developed and modified as programs proceed and develop. Beyond that, the acquisition and deployment of valuable human resources should be well integrated with control management requirements in order to strengthen the defense establishment’s ability to identify and negotiate acquisition opportunities, fighting the unwelcome fusion of projects and divesting lines that are inappropriate for the envisioned goals. The ultimate function of skilled human resources in force design is the deliberation of critical decisions involving complex technological and capability requirement tradeoffs, cutting though the complexities of scheduling activities while avoiding the quagmire of the details, moving quickly in the repositioning of production resources either for the orchestration of acquisition or the divestiture of function. Resource allocation in production is just as important as the allocation of human resources, providing interaction among industrial possibilities and operational functions. It consists of creating a pattern of decisions that affects the manufacturing of military assets and should be reflective of policy, with careful attention given to the potential interaction and driving forces within the national and international defense industrial base. If properly allocated, production resources can play a unique role in defining, supporting, and enhancing the success of a defense project, operating in concert with all its functions. Informational resource allocation is the useful knowledge that enables defense to render productive people of different agencies to work together in a dynamic and self- organizing format. Informational resource allocation is in itself a managerial rather than a technical activity. It provides the building blocks for systematic, purposeful programmatic axiology 14 and the predictability both of the results aimed at and likely to be achieved. Programmatic axiology is the formal system of identifying and measuring results in terms of the value they aggregated to the defense system. It depends on the institutions structure of values (the operational standards and the filtration system defense organization uses to produce information, evaluate and make decisions) that results in prioritized budgeting decisions. Budgeting is the process of allocating fiscal resources in a manner that ensures that the required set of military capabilities attend to the objectives it should serve. Budgeting is an estimative process. One way of testing for a high standard of budgeting appropriateness is the measure of its ability to comprehend the political environment (from grass roots to the head of state) in which it was developed. The inability to sustain this claim of comprehension gravely compromises the outcome of force design. When a ―ceiling‖ budget drives the capabilities design, fiscal resources allocation tends to be equated between services, leaving them alone to identify their own defense requirements. When this occurs, the government abdicates its prerogative of specifying how, when and for how long its instrument of force should be used. The outcome is the risk of each service procuring material according to its own perspective, promoting the absence of interoperability with requirements statements detached from the empirical assessment of concrete or potentials threats. Since any given potential instrumentality of the military use of force exists independent of the range of purposes for which it could be used, the coherence between military capability and defense objectives is always at stake. Because budgets tend to be evenly distributed between the branches, balancing the force becomes the implied policy, with equity often serving as the only rationale for justifying policy and with the services pledging assured interoperability though increased resources. This cycle evolves to include

―retrofitting‖, virtually guaranteeing perpetual shortfalls in the funding of ―requirements‖ and inducing what is described as the ―disciplinary gap‖. Lewis Kevin 15 and C.H. Builder 16 describe this gap. The Armed Forces request financial resources over and above that which would be necessary, while planning current alternatives with that which is ―expected‖. The difference between requested and provided resources becomes a debt the government has with the military. When the debt is paid, the military tends to expand its infrastructure abnormally or improperly. Resulting inadequacies are evidenced when the state faces a crisis: current military capabilities (however skewed or distorted) limit policy options, forcing choices between strategic actions that could be less than desired or even inappropriate. The collective pattern of the decisions taken into the Renovatio blocks follows a stream of logic regulated by its own results; each one decision stimulated and derived from the other. As programming is developed to satisfy capabilities requirements, inconsistencies among requirements and a lack of balance among them (some very lax and others more stringent in similar areas) become apparent. Although budgeting should follow programming, it may begin before its completion because of different federal budgeting and appropriations cycles. Budgeting may reveal problems with program requirements, especially if there has not been a rigorous validation of requirements before the initiation of development, or if program-evaluation 17 practices have not been adequately employed. Programming may review inconsistencies, where the budget developer is left to his own initiative about what the capabilities the programs should generate. This installment is even more prominent in making as explicit as possible the costs and consequences of defense decisions, insisting on the use of the best practices to systematically validate capability requirements (field-testing, games and simulations, etc.), ensuring that deficiencies that are uncovered are corrected with the appropriate modifications made, and compelling a rationale for defense expenditures that is fully integrated and balanced with defense programs.


The force design framework provides a set of critical relationships underlying the bewildering complexity involved in designing military capabilities, and the attributes used in structuring choices in support of future strategies under advanced C4ISR based on information fusion. It enumerates stages (logical blocks) and explains causal drivers within and across the component processes of these stages as they relate and amalgam into space of capabilities. Through these attributes, the framework forces the designer to explain assumptions and clearly states propositions addressing the relevant uncertainties under which a given choice is proposed, examined, carried out, and eventually executed. Equally as important, the framework discusses questions about priorities and interests, resource allocation criteria and institutional arrangements involved in defense decision- making. It acts as a device to help divide transactions into segments, distinguished by their individual actions and purposes. The force design framework provides a code that can be used to compare and contrast strategic planning methodologies, providing the general elements that any methodology relevant to the same purpose would need to include, thereby helping to generate questions that need to be addressed in order to diagnose problems, explain its processes and predict outcomes. Thus, it allows precise assumptions to be made about a limited set of parameters and variables, which simplifies the process of multiple, interacting cycles involving numerous decisions at multiple organizational levels. Provide a stable conceptual environment in which stability and change coexist, alternated with either a number of modest adjustments having the same attributes used in structuring a

choice or major changes in choices, with a radical departure from the past. Permit parallel processing within the defense system so that operational process can be conceptualized as being linked to outcomes, thus allowing the decision-making process to move outward, from the crafting of a narrow list of alternatives from which a choice is to be made, to the actual choice itself. The force design framework is support in itself by a theory of defense planning and resource management, which, in turn, defines the realm of practical actions of senior officers in policy guidance formulation for defense reforms within the combined possibilities of adaptation, modernization, and transformation. Based on the force design framework, policy guidance for defense reform can then assume choices, being expected to control process dynamics at all levels of aggregations, with clear causal chains and assumptions for making specific predictions for particular strategic issues (transformation, for example), taking into consideration the magnitude and facets of the problem, its causes, and the probable impacts of various solutions. Policy can act discretionarily in deciding exactly how national policy gets translated into dominant programs with an increased knowledge of problem parameters and the factors affecting them. The capabilities construct makes a major contribution in reducing the transaction costs involved in reaching a common understanding of the problem and identifying the means for resolving it, since subsystems will be interpreting the evidence using a similar set of concepts. Force design, therefore, offers an approach for thinking the future forces based in a logic that is different from that of the traditional planning, programming and budgeting system (PPBS). Its focus is on capabilities subsystems as a unity of analysis instead of as a multitude of projects initiated at all levels in the organization (often used by the organizational components in pursuit of their own goals). By questioning the conventional wisdom created over the past fifty years and bringing dissenting concepts to the forefront of change, force design offers a new paradigm on which to base policy decisions, a paradigm that alters the context of choice associated with defense resource allocation (at all levels of the budget). At any given point in the force design process, organizational components will be associated at a nontrivial degree with coordination activities with respect to desirable resource allocation rules and performance evaluation criteria aimed at greater precision in delineating the boundaries for capabilities subsystems, changes in subsystem composition over time (the domain of nascent and mature military capabilities) and for the interaction of related subsystems. Its reasoning is fairly straightforward:

determining which components in the defense construct become more internally interrelated (efficiency), more consistent with the defense objectives (efficacy) and experience a relatively low cost (economic) over time.


1 Alberts, D. et al. Understanding Information Age Warfare. Washington, D.C.: CCRP Publication Series, 2001. p. 136.

2 Bardach, E. Getting Agencies to Work Together: The Practice and Theory of Managerial Craftsmanship. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Pess, 1998. p.9

3 The Latin terms are used in order to avoid the existing and segmented understanding(s) of current practices and terminologies as expressed in modern languages.

4 See, for example, Lewis, K., Khalilzad, Z. M. and Roll, R.C., New-concept Development: A Planning Approach for The 21st Century Air Force. California, U.S.A.: Rand Corporation, 1997.; and Fox, R.J., The Defense Management Challenge. Boston, U.S.A.: Harvard Business School Press, 1988.

5 Schwartz [see Schwartz, P., The Art of The Long View. London, UK: Cunerry, 1991. p. 32] gives meaning to events as ―the building blocks of forecasting‖. Events help in reducing the complexity of decision-making under uncertainty, isolating discrete elements and establishing its links in a trend that emerges in the present, progressing into the future. On the other hand, Bunge [in Bunge, M., La causalidad: El Principio de Causalidad en la Ciencia Moderna. translated by Aernan Rodrigues. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Sudamericana, 1959], analyzing those links, concludes that events are an abstraction or an arbitrary simplification of reality.

The methodological rigor of force design demands that this necessity and its limits be recognized, in the same way other fields of science do. The validity of any conclusion based on events is limited by the expectation of its invulnerability. Under this definition, events can be categorized into four terms: (1) Dependent Events: those events that appear, disappear, or change when researchers add, remove, or modify other events. They are, therefore, the factor or propriety that is the effect, result, or consequence of what was manipulated; (2) Parametric Events: those events required for a determined result or consequence to happen. They are selected and manipulated in order to determine whether they have influence or modify dependent events; (3) Relational Events:

establish a test factor for the limits of inference and expectation. Relational events are assumptions that incorporate into force design the ability to make explicit its own limits. When hypothesizing through abstracted elements of reality, the require results to be made relative to its measuring criteria. That is, to make what surges from intuition and analysis clearly discursive, allowing the assessment of equally valid arguments, whereas averring their validity as function of its utility.

The role of relational events can be expressed in a simple formula: if the assumption turns out to be vulnerable, the relation between parametric and dependent events is corrupted, and inferences derived from this relation are no longer valid. In this role, relational events fulfill the fundamental demand of force design: that the accuracy of measurement refer to the sensitivity of the measuring method and take into consideration the conditions of permanence of the object being measured in terms of the stability of the derived conclusions. (5) Control Events: those events that are intentionally neutralized to prevent having their occurrence translate into a logical obstruction for designing capabilities. An extreme example of a control event would be the possibility of the disappearance of man. Less extreme examples are more difficult to establish, but are more important as the continuation of the system of states and the role of force as a political instrument. This classification uses criteria presented in Lakatos, Eva and Marconi, M. A., Scientific Methodology. 2 ed. São Paulo: Atlas, 1991. p.172.

The mechanics of prediction can be made explicit, using the relationship between events. Its goal is to describe, using scenarios and with some degree of confidence, the most likely future strategic environment: control events are established in order to neutralize uncertainties that would preclude force design; a set of relevant parametric events are stated and hypothetical chains of future developments are established, converging to dependent events. Finally, relational events are established to provide evidence of a possible vulnerability of these hypothetical chains, depending on the change of the state of parametric variables or the occurrence of other, non-neutralized events . If prediction is established outside the authorized conditions of relational events, they mean nothing and constitute an error.

6 Adaptation is rooted in the assumption of continuity, as stated by Makridakis [Makridakis, S.G., Forecasting: Planning and Strategy for The 21st Century. London, UK: Free Press, 1990. p.9], which depends on the availability of sufficient information about the past. It reflects, therefore, the projective nature of the linkage between events. Projections are explained, in the Theory of Causality, formulated by Bunge, as a causal relation that can be empirically verified. [Bunge, M., La Causalidade: El Principio de Causalidade en la Ciencia Moderna. Translated by Aernan Rodrigues. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Sudamericana, 1959. p. 187]. Temporal series, for example, are projections.

Chains of projection link present facts to future events through a tendency that depends on two factors: the amount that can be recovered to capture the necessary information for the construction of temporal series, with the periodicity identified; and the selection of the appropriate technique to construct and interpret these series. The projective horizon delimits a temporal context where

practices from the past ascertain regularities that impose a degree of inertia to changes. Therefore, although the projective future is not absolutely undetermined, it is also not unique in its determination, in the sense that the course of the present would be a derivative of a set of rigid and inexorable causal laws. The projective future does indeed have some degree of freedom, but this degree is restricted, being subjected to the possibilities authorized by regulatory elements of the construction of capabilities, which will determine the limits of adaptation in defense reforms.

The accepted degree of dispersion for projections indicates the level of risk politics is willing to accept. This acceptable level of risk establishes the limits of the projective horizon, and it is for the determination of its occurrence that projective assumptions are constructed. This understanding contradicts that of Chuyev and Mikhaylov, who suggest as a prediction interval the medium timeframe between cycles of development of weapons systems and acquisition. It is conceivable that the development of a complex and time constrained weapons system could be done artificially, precluding changes, imposing inertia to tasks and missions for which the weapons system is inadequate or inefficient. Chuyev, Y. and Mikhaylov, Y., Forecasting in Military Affairs. Soviet Military Thought.nr.16: Translated by the DGIS Multilingual Section, Translation Bureau Secretary of the state Department Canada. Moscow, U.S.S.R.: Washington, D.C., U.S.A.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1980. p.4.

7 Modernization reflects the prospective nature of the linkage between events. Prospective events came through propensity, the probabilistic outcome derived from a condition of possibility, posed by a conjunct of probabilities that are neither fully empirically supported nor totally tested. The conceptual foundation of prospectivity is the Theory of Propensity, as explained by Popper [Popper, K.R., A Lógica da Pesquisa Científica. translated by Leonidas Hegenberg. São Paulo:

Cultrix, 1972].

The prospective does not fill empty spaces in the chain of events; it creates probable alternatives, each one presented as a relationship that confirms the following, with regressive degrees of certainty. The judgment of new occurrences is a function of previous judgments. Prospective is concerned more with the structure of the conditional relationship between present facts and future events than with the accuracy of the premises. Therefore, prospective does not confine itself to what effectively may happen in the future, but is concerned with possible events that could happen under probable conditions. Prospective, in fact, presents a story where some data are hidden, but assumes that this story is sufficiently coherent to make some conclusions. The prospective horizon delimits a temporal context where the regularities observed in the past condition the future together with a set of significant parametric variables that could alter the chain of events. The limit of this horizon is given by the possibility of prospective assumptions becoming vulnerable, which determines the possibilities and limits of modernization in defense reforms.

8 Transformation possibilities reflect the limits of linkage between prosficcional events, addressing an epistemological requirement of formulating hypotheses about the future, explained in Reichenbach terms. [Reichenbach, H., Experience and Prediction. Chicago, U.S.A.: University of Chicago Press, 1938.] Kaplan says that the probabilistic induction is based on the notion that an expectation of truth exists in chains of events if the links of thinking sequences were sufficiently strong and the links sufficiently short. [Kaplan, M., Decision Theory. Massachusetts, U.S.A.:

Cambridge University Press, 1996. p. 235].

Prosficcional events vary without preconceived standards of measurement or statistical tolerances, accepting a temporal bifurcation in order to propose and explore logical relationships and create new possibilities. Its limits are the plausibility of alternatives the possibility of its existence -, which is a markedly subjective limit. Prosficcion produces thought experiments aiming at exploring logical extremes of possible futures. It is not an attempt to predict the future; it is a research of possible innovations through questioning the ends, means, and relationships, using an illustrated mind. The choice of its expression of synthesis is determined by functional considerations of representatives of the conceived object and by an informed judgment of its feasibility.

The important aspect is not that which exceeds prosficcional limits, but what the limits circumscribe, that is, determining the limits of transformation alternatives in defense reforms. In exceeding this limit, the mind cannot intuitively believe in the proposed chain of events and sees growing, contradictory changes in parts of the cognitive process. Within these limits, prosficcional events provide alternatives that otherwise would not be evident through projection or the prospective lens.

Moles [in Moles, A., As Ciências do Impreciso. Translated by Glória Lins. Rio de Janeiro:

Civilização Brasileira, 1995. p.125] provides the limit for a temporal context defined by prosficcion: the distance of coherence and the limit of the propagation of causal truth. The important aspect is not that which exceeds these limits, but what the limits circumscribe. The distance of coherence determines the limits of alternatives for transformation in defense reforms. Terraine [in Terraine, J., The Smoke and the Fire: Myths & Anti-Myths of War: 1861-1945. London, UK: Leo Cooper, 1992. Ch. XIX], for example, concludes that Word War I trench phenomena were not evident through projections from past trends, nor through prospective formulation, but through intuitively conceived links between the new industrial production possibilities and the evolving forms of war. In the same vein, Clark [in Clark, I.F., Voices Prophesying War: Future Wars, 1763-3749. New York: Prentice Hall, 1993. pp. 224-262] quotes La guerre au vingtième siècle as evidence of the trenches. For further examples, see Dyson, F., Mundos Imaginados. São Paulo: Scharcz, 1998; and Malone, J., O futuro ontem e hoje. Translated by Ricardo Silveira, Rio de Janeiro: Ediouro, 1997.

9 In the U.S. case, particularly, Transformation is a policy that prioritises options over modernization and adaptation. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told the nature of transformation for students at the National Defense University on January 31, 2002, transformation is ―about new ways of thinking … and new ways of fighting."9 He is correct in terms of its nature, but mistakenly assumes that transformation can have a logic of its own, encompassing all other alternatives. The current state of epistemological knowledge about the logical links among future events does not support such understanding. See previous notes on the foundation of adaptation, modernization, and transformation. There is not a unique conceptual system that supports transformation as encompassing modernization and adaptation.

10 To further explore this theme with a practical perspective (U.S.-centered), see Bruce, R.N. and McNaugher, T.L., The Army: Towards the Objective Force.; and Binnendijk, H., Transforming America’s Military. Washington, D.C.: NDU, 2002. ch. 4.

11 There is no theory that supports the fusion of chains of events of different natures. In 1956, Allport explained chains of events with different natures, though always related, as being distinct and not to be interchanged or substituted. Stevenson and Inayatyllah said the same thing 43 years later, when they affirmed the epistemological necessity of explaining the premises in studies about the future, making the distinct chains of significance hidden in the scenarios explicit. Allport, F.H., Theories of Perception and the Concept of Structure. London: John Wiley & Sons. 1955, p. 622. Stevenson, T. and Inayatullah, S., Future-Oriented Writing and Research. Futures. V.30, Feb. 1998. p. 2.

12 For the rationale that support the concept of crisis as a type of limited war, see Raza, S., Crises e Manobra de Crises Internacionais Político Estratégicas, Aeroespace Power Journal, Spring 2002.

13 The term normative forecasting was initially defined by Cleveland, D e King, W. System Analysis and Project Management.New York: McGraw-Hill. 1968. p. 32.

14 The term axiology, which combines two Greek words: axios (worthy) and logos (reason or theory), is the study or theory of valueswhat they are and where they are placed. Programmatic axiology is a way of refining the theory and practice of resource allocation. See Neville, R.C. Normative Cultures (Axiology of Thinking, Vol 3). New Yourk: State University of New York Press . 1995.

15 Lewis, K., The Disciplinary Gap and other Reasons for Humility and Realism in Defense Planning. New Challenges for Defense Planning: Rethink How Much is Enough. ed. Paul Davies, California, U.S.A.: Rand Corporation, 1994. p. 21.

16 Builder, C. H., Military Planning Today: Calculus or Charade? California, U.S.A.: Rand: 1993. p. 93.

17 Program evaluation practices are rooted in system analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis. Quade and Boucher explain system analysis as a ―systematic approach to helping a decision maker choose a course of action by investigating his full problem, searching out objectives and alternatives, and comparing them in the light of their consequences, using an appropriate framework in so far as possible analytically to bring expert judgment and intuition to bear on the problem. Quade, E.S and Boucher, W.I., System Analysis and Policy Planning: Application in Defense. New York: Elsevier, 1968. p. 2. Cost-effectiveness is a technique (analytical) that seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of the resources expended across various optional programs. System analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis must be supplemented by informed military judgment for the treatment of the broad questions typical in force design, showing that the consequences of various approaches might be different from what they seem.