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Old 08-04-2009   #1
HumanCOGRachel
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Default Renamed Thread: Operational Design Discussion

Hello all,

Check and have a look if BGEN McMaster is going. He is the Concept Dev Cav guy at ACIC, and he is a straight shooter and has a lot to say about operational design and Human COG.

Cheers,
Rach
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Old 08-04-2009   #2
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Originally Posted by HumanCOGRachel View Post
.... and has a lot to say about operational design and Human COG.
  • What is "Operational Design"
  • What is "Human COG?"
Thanks.
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Old 08-04-2009   #3
HumanCOGRachel
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Default Hi William,

In this context, operational design is decribed by McMaster to be a "creative approach" to solving challenges in planning for operations. Rather than following a checklist of items to match with the conditions on the ground and targeting tactics to support those criteria, McMaster talks about focusing on a problem statement, one that is centered around a human/population problem, and planning your solution around resolving the human/population problem. It's a very simplistic explanation, but McMaster, if he attends, will probably discuss this in detail, and I'm sure he has written in Parameters or other journals on that topic....

Human COG refers to center of gravity, meaning that the environment and subsequent effects are dependant on the psychology or actions/behaviors of targeted humans (the capacity to execute is dependant on this core). See Nash, Nagl, Gurney, Vego, or Gavrilis for further authorship on this subject.

Cheers,
Rach

(HOOAH)
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Old 08-04-2009   #4
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Originally Posted by HumanCOGRachel View Post
In this context, operational design is decribed by McMaster to be a "creative approach" to solving challenges in planning for operations.
Let me guess. JP-3.0?
Quote:
Human COG refers to center of gravity, meaning that the environment and subsequent effects are dependant on the psychology or actions/behaviors of targeted humans (the capacity to execute is dependant on this core).
I'm not sure I get this. A COG is "The most effective target for a blow," - IMO, the JP-3.0 definition never says this, so basically misses the point.
So, if you are saying kill or capture the right people, then I can go along with that.
If it doesn't then I'm getting pretty sceptical.
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Old 08-04-2009   #5
HumanCOGRachel
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Hi William,

When working on counterinsurgency definition with the Pentagon, we were looking at various thought leaders in preparing 3.24.2 (December 2006 revision). The idea with Human COG is to redefine the term to understanding the motivators and drivers of humans in the OE, and then understanding that those motivators (and human actors obviously) are what drive battlefield changes, whether of kinetic or non-kinetic effect. This is not a new idea, and has been floating around for some time now, and used in discussion amongst TRADOC, overall force transformation folks.

Please PM me if you want to talk about this further.

Cheers,
Rach

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Old 08-05-2009   #6
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Default "Design" from FM 5-0 Draft

Here's how we're defining "design" in the new FM 5-0 draft chapter 3:

"Planning consists of two separate, but closely related components: a conceptual component, represented by the cognitive application of design, and a detailed component, which introduces specificity through a formal planning process, such as the military decision making process. During planning, these components overlap—no clear delineation exists between them. As commanders conceptualize the operation, their vision guides the staff through design and into detailed planning. Like planning, design is continuous—it evolves with increased understanding and drives the operations process. It underpins the exercise of battle command, guiding the iterative and often cyclic application of understanding, visualizing, and describing."

"Design is a methodology for applying critical and creative thinking to understand, visualize, and describe complex problems and develop approaches to solve them. Critical thinking captures the reflective and continuous learning essential to design. Creative thinking involves thinking in new, innovative ways while capitalizing on imagination, insight, and novel ideas. Design is a way of organizing conceptual work within an organization to assist commanders in understanding, visualizing, and describing the operational environment and to develop approaches to solving complex, ill-structured problems. Design occurs throughout the operations process before and during detailed planning, through preparation, and during execution and assessment."
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Old 08-05-2009   #7
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Default "targeted humans"

is an interesting term. So, HumanCOGRachel are you using that in the context of the Political Struggle, or in the context of the Military Struggle ?

And, in any event, how are they "targeted" - in your construct ?

I should suppose that "kill, capture or convert" would be three possible end states for the "targeted human" - which in CORDS-Phoenix ran about 1/3, 1/3 and 1/3 (the general term used was "neutralize").

Last edited by jmm99; 08-05-2009 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 08-05-2009   #8
HumanCOGRachel
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Jack,

I just got off a conference call....have you looked into SAMS's COE project on OD?

JMM,

The targeted humans part simply meant as an identified group of persons, who range from non-involved to highly invested actors. Counterinsurgency assumes that insurgency involves political AND military struggles (two-pronged) - See Bard O'Neill for further leadership on this issue...

PM me for more details....

Have a great day,
Rach

(Hooah!)
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Last edited by Jedburgh; 08-06-2009 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 08-05-2009   #9
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Default Since you volunteered

Quote:
Creative thinking involves thinking in new, innovative ways while capitalizing on imagination, insight, and novel ideas.
Oh, so that's creative thinking.

I don't mean to be a jerk (though I often am anyway) but does this really need to be said? And if so, is this going to provide some epiphany to an otherwise un-creative thinker, or someone who is unable to recognize it? And even then, how is the institution going to be re-structured to encourage such "creative thinking" without just calling it "insubordinate"?
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Old 08-05-2009   #10
HumanCOGRachel
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Check out what SAMS and TRADOC is doing to help push creative design. BGEN McMaster is a good POC on this - I'm sure he has some publications out. Check with NDU Press - I'm pretty sure he published an article recently on this subject.

Cheers,
Rach

(Hooah!)
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Old 08-06-2009   #11
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Default Hmm ...

about what I thought re: this:

Quote:
from HCR
[1] The targeted humans part simply meant as an identified group of persons, who range from non-involved to highly invested actors. [2] Counterinsurgency assumes that insurgency involves political AND military struggles (two-pronged) - [3] See Bard O'Neill for further leadership on this issue...
1. So, backfilling with your other posted statements: Do a General Area Study with a detailed Operational Area Intelligence Study; followed by a continuing Area Assessment after insertion ?

2. Gee, something like the attached - or, as well stated, in Dr. Zhivago:

Quote:
Liberius: I could have you taken out and shot!

Razin, Liberius' Lieutenant: And could you have The Party taken out and shot? Understand this: as the military struggle draws to a close, the political struggle intensifies. In the hour of victory, the military will have served its purpose - and all men will be judged POLITICALLY - regardless of their military record! Meanwhile, there are still White units in this area - the Doctor stays.
3. Been there; done that.

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Old 08-06-2009   #12
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JMM, sounds like they are trying to do a 5 rings analysis. The Human COG's are usually found in Ring 1-Leadership targets, unless they saw some of my LE adaptions.
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Old 08-06-2009   #13
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Default Solid Foundation

Quote:
Originally Posted by HumanCOGRachel View Post
Jack,

I just got off a conference call....have you looked into SAMS's COE project on OD?

Cheers,
Rach

(hooah!)
Rach - roger; much of the great SAMS work provided the foundation for the integration of design into FM 5-0. Working closely with SAMS on the development of the concept...(hooah!)
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Old 08-06-2009   #14
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Default Creative Thinking

Quote:
Originally Posted by IntelTrooper View Post
Oh, so that's creative thinking.

I don't mean to be a jerk (though I often am anyway) but does this really need to be said? And if so, is this going to provide some epiphany to an otherwise un-creative thinker, or someone who is unable to recognize it? And even then, how is the institution going to be re-structured to encourage such "creative thinking" without just calling it "insubordinate"?
Well – there is a difference between the concepts of “innovation” and “adaptation” that is reinforced in design. Innovation involves taking a new approach to a familiar or known situation, whereas adaptation involves taking a known solution and modifying it to a particular situation. Both concepts are central tenets of design – and the concept of innovation is closely tied (in the doctrinal definitions) to creative thinking.

This will require close dialog and collaboration – encouraging creative thought for innovative approaches to problems… which will require reinforcing the best practices of great staffs that encourage innovation and adaptation.
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Old 08-06-2009   #15
jmm99
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Default Hey Slap, has the Viagra given you ....

delusions of grandeur ....

Quote:
JMM, sounds like they are trying to do a 5 rings analysis. The Human COG's are usually found in Ring 1-Leadership targets, unless they saw some of my LE adaptions.
Seriously, could be a 5-ring analysis; or simply a classification of the population from pro-HN to anti-HN, and everything in between (with whatever variations and branches you have time to make).

In any event, to do any of that you need to do something akin to the studies mentioned in my point #1 (General Area Study, etc.). Which, BTW, are 50 years old - from FM 31-21 (Apps III & IV; 1958, rev 1961), Guerrilla Warfare.

Might want to read the two Apps - not much new under the sun, except new buzzwords.
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Old 08-06-2009   #16
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delusions of grandeur ....
Yea them little blue pills are sumtin man
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Old 08-06-2009   #17
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Originally Posted by HumanCOGRachel View Post
When working on counterinsurgency definition with the Pentagon, we were looking at various thought leaders in preparing 3.24.2 (December 2006 revision).
How and why did the definition change?
Quote:
The idea with Human COG is to redefine the term to understanding the motivators and drivers of humans in the OE, and then understanding that those motivators (and human actors obviously) are what drive battlefield changes, whether of kinetic or non-kinetic effect.
The COG is something you strike. The JP3 definition is wrong, and less it explicitly makes that point or unless it wants to invent a new term.
What I think you are saying is the HumanCOG is the motivation that cause people to act. Correct?
Quote:
Originally Posted by HumanCOGRachel View Post
The targeted humans part simply meant as an identified group of persons, who range from non-involved to highly invested actors.
Does this mean, trying to understand what everyone wants?
Quote:
Counterinsurgency assumes that insurgency involves political AND military struggles (two-pronged) -
So an insurgency is exactly the same as any other type of warfare.
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- The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
- If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition
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Old 08-06-2009   #18
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Originally Posted by Dr Jack View Post
"Planning consists of two separate, but closely related components: a conceptual component, represented by the cognitive application of design, and a detailed component, which introduces specificity through a formal planning process, such as the military decision making process. During planning, these components overlap—no clear delineation exists between them. As commanders conceptualize the operation, their vision guides the staff through design and into detailed planning. Like planning, design is continuous—it evolves with increased understanding and drives the operations process. It underpins the exercise of battle command, guiding the iterative and often cyclic application of understanding, visualizing, and describing."
So planning now takes longer and is a less well defined process? If design is really SOD by the back door, then planning is going to become more complex, less effective, take longer, and allow people not to be held accountable for poor decisions.
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- The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
- If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition
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Old 08-06-2009   #19
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Default Planning and Design

Well, let me address each element –

Quote:
Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
So planning now takes longer and is a less well defined process?
Well, actually the process is more defined – planning has two components: 1) a conceptual thinking component about how to address the problem (design) and 2) a detailed component that goes into the nuts and bolts (MDMP or JOPP). It won’t necessarily take more or less time – but the process is more defined with design.

Quote:
If design is really SOD by the back door...
There certainly are components of SOD in design, but it’s not SOD (or EBO) sneaking in by the back door. Design actually gets to certain “outcomes” that are not evident in SOD, such as a problem statement, the initial commander’s intent (purpose and end state), the mission narrative, and planning guidance (that includes the operational approach).

Quote:
...planning is going to become more complex, less effective, take longer, and allow people not to be held accountable for poor decisions.
More complex? Perhaps, because design is normally applied for complex, ill-structured problems – but it’s still a commander-centric process – the commander is assisted by the staff (as always) but still accountable and responsible with design. The commander's decisions should be more effective if design is used properly – because the commander has stepped back, not relied solely on intuition, and considered the essence of his problem using design:

What’s really going on (what’s the problem?)… where do we want to take this situation (what are the desired future conditions?)… how do we bridge the gap between what we have now and what we want (what's the broad operational approach?)… who else needs to be involved in understanding of the problem (dialog and collaboration?)… and a willingness to step back periodically to assess the changes in the problem (reframing).

Design, in this context, is intended to provide a common sense methodology that good commanders have always used - and to provide tools to assist in the process of thinking about a problem before delving into the details.
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Old 08-06-2009   #20
William F. Owen
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What’s really going on (what’s the problem?)… where do we want to take this situation (what are the desired future conditions?)… how do we bridge the gap between what we have now and what we want (what's the broad operational approach?)… who else needs to be involved in understanding of the problem (dialog and collaboration?)… and a willingness to step back periodically to assess the changes in the problem (reframing).
Correct me if I'm wrong, but you plan the mission given to you. That mission should be expressed in clear simple and unambiguous terms. What's different about campaigns?
If what "Design" is trying to say is "let's give subordinates better missions" then OK, but I've never seen that said - especially in SOD. Does it actually mean, "Mission analysis" applied to the campaign level?
What "ill-structured" problems are the military faced with that are actually new? Does "ill structured" actually mean folks don't understand the problem?

Quote:
Design, in this context, is intended to provide a common sense methodology that good commanders have always used - and to provide tools to assist in the process of thinking about a problem before delving into the details.
If that's the case, why didn't someone just say "let's get better at planning." If it's someone that is common sense and commanders have always done, then it's a product of training and command experience. Separating the plan from the problem is nonsensical.
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