Monday, April 8, 2013

The Human Domain

I have talked about the military's Joint Operational Access Concept before. The JOAC identifies several domains in which different components of the military operate. Land, air, sea, even cyber and outer space are examples of domains. There is an interesting discussion taking place in certain defense circles about an additional domain, the human domain. I've been working on a monograph for a few months about Special Operations Forces operating in the world's "unlit spaces." The paper is an expansion of my previous post about the same subject; however, this upcoming monograph addresses the idea of this human domain. Essentially, I make the case that unlit spaces, as a phenomenon are more nuanced than they appear from space and that their implication for policy and defense decisions is more a matter of the distinct human factors in that space than the mere fact that it is unlit. This becomes especially true when one considers the kinds of Special Operations missions that deal with close interactions with people. The ability, then, to gain access to people presents all kinds of challenges related to both accessing them and to anti-access measures places may take to prevent influencing the human domain. I think the idea of the human domain has very interesting implications for Special Operations and  for the military as a whole. The idea of domains in general is really interesting, especially as the military moves closer to cross-domain synergy.