3rd Offset Strategy 101: What It Is, What the Tech Focuses Are

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May 26, 2016 | Originally published by Date Line: May 26 on

As it has been in the past, technological and operational innovation will be the key to it.There’s been a lot of talk about a Third Offset Strategy at the Defense Department lately. It’s part of Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s plan to make sure the U.S. military remains the world’s finest fighting force.The Third Offset Strategy has a number of parts to it, so at first glance, it may appear complicated. Lucky for you, my job was to break down some of the more technical aspects into layman’s terms.Basically, anoffset strategyis part of a long-term competitive strategy; a peacetime competition between rival defense establishments that aims to generate and sustain strategic advantage. Offset strategies are not about formulating a general unified theory for armed conflict. They instead aim to bolster and extend U.S. conventional deterrence against great powers able to produce or acquire technologically advanced weapons systems.It’s how we strengthen our military’s competitive edge. Offset strategies are not solely about technological approaches, although all offset strategies have a powerful technological component. They are about finding the right combination of technologies and operational and organizational constructs to achieve decisive operational advantage and thus bolster conventional deterrence.It’s something we’ve done successfully twice before.