USMA Research Unit Affiliation
Army Cyber Institute
After U.S. forces implement the multidomain operations (MDO) concept, they will have entered a new level of complexity, with multidomain rapid execution and increased technical abilities and capacities. The U.S. modernization efforts enhance the country’s forces, but they also increase the technological disparity and challenges for NATO.
A future fight in Europe is likely to be a rapidly unfolding event, which could occur as an fait accompli attack on the NATO Eastern front. A rapid advancement from the adversary to gain as much terrain and bargaining power before the arrival of major U.S. formations from the continental U.S.
According to the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Pamphlet 525-3-1, “The U.S. Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028,” a “fait accompli attack is intended to achieve military and political objectives rapidly and then to quickly consolidate those gains so that any attempt to reverse the action by the [United States] would entail unacceptable cost and risk.”
In a fait accompli scenario, limited U.S. Forces are in theater, and the initial fight rely on the abilities of the East European NATO forces. The mix is a high-low composition of highly capable but small, rapid response units from major NATO countries and regional friendly forces with less ability.
The wartime mobilization units and reserves of the East European NATO forces follow a 1990s standard, to a high degree, with partial upgrades in communications and technical systems. They represent a technical generation behind today’s U.S. forces. Even if these dedicated NATO allies are launching modernization initiatives and replace old legacy hardware (T72, BTR, BMP, post-Cold War-donated NATO surplus) with modern equipment, it is a replacement cycle that will require up to two decades before it is completed. Smaller East European NATO nations tend to have faster executed modernization programs, due to the limited number of units, but they still face the issue of integrating a variety of inherited hardware, donated Cold War surplus, and recently purchased equipment.