In the new era of warfare, conflicts will spread “quickly” across borders and domains, challenging the traditional structure of US command and control, according to the general.

The US military’s command and control is not currently organized to handle future conflicts that cross geographical regions and integrate all domains of combat, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said in a speech on Tuesday.

“A future conflict will be transregional, multi-domain and multifunctional… When we look at that from my perspective, our current planning and organizational construct, and most importantly, our command and control, is actually not suited for that character of war,” Dunford said at the Center for Strategic International Studies.

Dunford explained that in the new era of warfare, conflicts will spread “quickly” across borders and domains, challenging the traditional structure of US command and control that is largely delineated along geographic and functions lines.

“Information operations, cyber activities, space and counter-space, and ballistic missile technology have all made the character of war today much more dynamic and complex, in my assessment, than it has been in the past,” Dunford noted.

The US military is comprised of nine unified combatant commands. Since the start of 2016, US policymakers have proposed reforming the Department of Defense, including restructuring the combatant commands, to make them more flexible to address transregional and multi-domain challenges.


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