Home » Grasp the Changes in the “Window of Immediate Advantage” of Future Wars- Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China

Grasp the Changes in the “Window of Immediate Advantage” of Future Wars- Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China

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Source: People’s Liberation Army DailyAuthor: Yuan Yi Gao Dongming Zhang YujunResponsible editor: Wang Feng2022-08-11 09:53

Grasp the changes in the “window of instant advantage” in future wars

■Yuan Yi Gao Dongming Zhang Yujun


The “immediate advantage window” refers to a specific time domain, air domain, frequency domain, cognitive domain, etc. in which one party can aggregate multi-domain combat resources and form a local comprehensive advantage over the other party during military operations. With the large-scale application of new technologies in the military field, looking forward to future wars, the “window of instant advantage” will change significantly. Grasping the characteristics and laws of changes will not only help control the initiative on the battlefield, but also help deepen preparations for wars. .

Creation of technology dependencies that are getting stronger and stronger

Military technology and its materialized weapons and equipment are the material basis for effectively overcoming the temporal and spatial obstacles on the battlefield and for discovering, creating and utilizing the “window of instant advantage”. The history of war shows that the more advanced the technology and equipment, the easier it is to find, maneuver, strike and destroy before the enemy on the battlefield. In future wars, technology, especially information technology and intelligent technology, will increasingly play a leading and supporting role in the process of discovering, creating and utilizing the “window of instant advantage”.

Traditional spatiotemporal factors play a lesser role in the creation of the “window of instant advantage”. In the history of warfare, there are many classic battle examples of discovering, creating and utilizing the “window of instant advantage” by effectively utilizing geographical factors such as topography, rivers and other geographical factors, as well as weather factors such as cloudy and sunny, cold and warm, dry and wet, and day and night. During our army’s Long March, the four crossings of Chishui, the complex terrain of the Chishui River and its surrounding areas, and the obstruction of the river, played a key role in the process of creating an “immediate advantage window” for the Red Army to annihilate the enemy and get rid of the enemy’s pursuit. However, for the warring parties in future wars, with the general improvement of reconnaissance, maneuver, strike, support and other capabilities, the military can effectively overcome these obstacles, and the usable value of traditional space-time factors will gradually decrease.

Advanced military technology enables interchange of “windows of instant advantage” based on traditional space-time factors. In the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea, for the volunteers with backward technology and equipment but good at night battles, the special weather at night provided an excellent time condition for creating an “immediate advantage window” for destroying the enemy. With the development of night vision technology, the party equipped with advanced night vision equipment has become the master of night combat. Without an advantage in night vision capability to match an adversary, there is little chance of creating an “instant advantage window” at night.

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Advanced military technology can create new types of “windows of immediate advantage.” For example, the military that takes the lead in entering new fields such as deep sea, space, and the Internet can freely create an “immediate advantage window” in this combat field, and form an asymmetrical system in which the virtual controls the real, the high controls the low, and the deep controls the shallow. combat advantage.

The timing of creation extends from wartime to peacetime

From the perspective of local wars and armed conflicts since the Gulf War, the military and social forms of war are more closely intertwined. Some countries or regions where armed conflicts broke out are carrying out normal social production activities and low-intensity military confrontation activities at the same time. , non-state actors are playing an increasingly important role in conflicts; the boundaries between military and civilians, and the boundaries between peace and war are becoming increasingly blurred, and hybrid warfare has become the mainstream type of warfare. Based on the new changes in the characteristics of warfare in the era of informationization and intelligence, it is becoming more and more difficult to achieve the purpose of war only by regular warfare operations during wartime. The window of immediate advantage”, the accumulation and continuation of operational advantages to create conditions for the possibility of high-intensity conflict.

It is reported that some foreign military concepts of war divide the war into three stages: peaceful competition, armed conflict and return to competition, deliberately diluting the boundaries between peacetime and wartime in the traditional sense; and supporting civilian authorities, moving away from the simple traditional dichotomy of offense and defense. In recent local wars and conflicts, the armed forces of powerful countries have emphasized creating a series of “immediate advantage windows” in peacetime. For example, granting the war zone the power to take action during the period of peaceful competition, depleting the opponent’s unconventional reconnaissance force through various means, and establishing a “window of advantage” in the cognitive domain among the own people, etc. These “windows of immediate advantage” can continue to create opportunities for friendly reconnaissance, unconventional operations, deterrence operations, and reduce the adversary’s capabilities for similar activities.

Shorter shelf life and improved accuracy

In theory, each “window of instant advantage” has an expiration date. Once discovered by the enemy and taken remedial and closed measures, or used up by one’s own side, this window will lose its original value. With the development of military technology and the evolution of war forms, modern warfare, especially information-based and intelligent warfare, the operation speed of reconnaissance, maneuver, strike, security and other links in the army’s action chain, as well as the “OODA” cycle in the combat command chain Speeds and more continue to increase, leading to a fundamental change in the creation and utilization of “windows of immediate advantage.”

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The “window of instant advantage” is getting shorter and shorter, and the window can be fleeting. For example, in modern warfare, covert maneuvers can be achieved by monitoring the transit time of enemy reconnaissance satellites and avoiding enemy satellite reconnaissance methods. The time window for concealed maneuvering of troops is getting narrower and narrower, and various counter-reconnaissance methods must be actively adopted to expand the time window.

The “immediate advantage window” has increasing spatial and temporal precision. It is reported that the time accuracy of the “Global Positioning System” timing system can reach 30 nanoseconds, and the daily clock error does not exceed 0.6 milliseconds. Such precise time measurement was almost unimaginable before the era of informationization and intelligence. This makes the accuracy of the time window more and more demanding in future wars. In tactical-level operations, even small timing errors can miss a favorable operational window.

Spatial dimension to multi-domain compound expansion

From the perspective of development trends, with the advancement of military technology, the battlefield space continues to expand, which is mainly reflected in the change from the pleasant and habitable space in natural spaces such as land, sea and air to the restricted space for human activities such as polar regions, deep seas, mountains and deserts, and Dangerous spaces such as nuclear, biochemical and contaminated areas are expanded; from the inner atmosphere of the atmosphere to the adjacent space and outer space; from the tangible space such as land, sea, air, and sky to the invisible space such as the network, electromagnetic, and cognition. The comprehensive expansion of the war space and multi-domain integration has profoundly changed the spatial dimension of the “immediate advantage window” in the era of informationization and intelligence.

In traditional warfare, the spatial dimension of the “window of instant advantage” can be basically described clearly by geographic location and scope. Entering the era of informationization and intelligence, the spatial dimension factors involved in the “immediate advantage window” have expanded from traditional regional factors to multi-domain factors such as region, time domain, frequency domain, network domain, and cognitive domain. Influence and mutual restriction constitute a complex linkage relationship. Some “windows of immediate advantage” may be located in a single operational domain. For example, the cognitive domain “instant advantage window” formed by a certain psychological weakness of the enemy’s public, the information domain “instant advantage window” formed by a certain communication protocol vulnerability in the enemy network, etc.

In actual combat, most “immediate advantage windows” are formed by the combined effects of one party’s relative weaknesses in multiple domains and the other party’s relative strengths in multiple domains, and are multi-domain composite “windows of advantage” that include multiple spatial attributes. . For example, in the landing operation, the landing party uses the information and firepower of the previous operation to strike together, and within a certain period of time in a specific landing area, the opponent’s air-to-sea detection network is temporarily “blind” by electronic interference suppression, and the air defense and anti-ship firepower units are destroyed. , the command was in chaos and morale was severely frustrated, thus forming an “immediate advantage window” that was conducive to the landing party to quickly land on the beach and open up a landing field.

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Relying on the emergence of the system and the creation of cross-domain energy gathering

Concentrating superior forces and defeating the enemy individually has always been regarded as the key to victory by military strategists. In traditional warfare, superiority aggregation is mainly achieved by rapidly projecting troops and firepower that have absolute superiority over the enemy to local areas. In the era of informationization and intelligence, joint operations and all-domain operations based on the network information system have become the basic operational forms of warfare, and the inherent mechanism and manifestation of advantage aggregation have undergone major changes. The means of aggregation of advantages are more abundant, the methods are more diverse, the forces are more dispersed, and the combination of different domains, combat forces, and means of combat is more flexible, resulting in more complex decision-making, organization, and coordination of aggregation of advantages. The aggregation of advantages is no longer a simple linear superposition of the quantity and scale of various combat elements such as troops and firepower, but the overall combat capability generated by the emergence of an integrated joint combat system that integrates multiple domains.

On the other hand, from the perspective of traditional warfare practice, the “window of instant advantage” in a certain domain is created only by the dominant combat force in that domain, which is often twice the result with half the effort. For example, it is usually difficult to break through the enemy’s ground defense system only by relying on land combat forces. If the air combat force can be supported to carry out an air-ground integrated assault, the difficulty will be greatly reduced. During the Gulf War, the U.S. military required air combat forces to use air-to-surface fire to eliminate more than half of Iraq’s ground combat forces before the Army launched a ground attack. After entering the era of informatization and intelligence, advantage aggregation puts more emphasis on the comprehensive use of a variety of combat forces that are dispersed and deployed in various domains. Like a convex lens that focuses light into light spots, it gathers energy in the form of cross-domain maneuvering and cross-domain firepower. Immediate Advantage Window”.

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