DOD”s Third Offset Strategy: What Man and Machine Can Do Together

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May 12, 2016 | Originally published by Date Line: May 12 on

The Defense Department’s Third Offset Strategy, which seeks to outmaneuver advantages made by top adversaries primarily through technology, is at heart based on the time-honored military concepts of being able to win a war if necessary but also having enough capability to deter one, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work said this week.“The Third Offset is really kind of simple at its core. It basically hypothesizes that the advances in artificial intelligence and autonomy – autonomous systems – is going to lead to a new era of human-machine collaboration and combat teaming,” he said in an appearance at the Atlantic Council on May 2. “Collaboration is using the tactical acuity of a computer to help a human make better decisions and human-machine combat teaming is using manned and unmanned platforms.”Typically, wide-reaching initiatives can be difficult to implement given various cultural, structural and bureaucratic barriers. “We’re trying to conceive of how this will unfold. That’s very important. We don’t have an endpoint in this. This is very much a walk, crawl, run – see what we can do, how we train our people, how our people react,” Work said. Such an effort, therefore, is going to need big changes in training, doctrine and integration of new concepts and technologies.