Military Domains, Dimensions, Doctrines: Towards Design Centric Warfare

We need a clear, comprehensive and unambiguous delineation of military domains, military dimensions and of course emerging military doctrines and forms of warfare. In this new column “Of Military domains, dimensions and doctrines – Towards a Design Centric Warfare”, we will be exploring and explaining a new model to comprehend the four substrates or domains of reality – Cognitive, Living, Informational and Physical. The changes observed in these domains can be identified and codified into military dimensions.

There are four fundamental dimensions (the 3-dimensional spatial world) and temporal dimensions that we observe in our sensory human experience. We define 7 natural dimensions and many derived dimensions of what Chinese called “unrestricted warfare” and which Russia utilized as “hybrid warfare” and US/West is calling the multi-domain and futuristic mosaic warfare with decision centric warfare templates.

We argue and explain that in the future model of warfare it will be what we call the “Design Centric warfare” where the OODA loops of John Boyd have to give way to what we call the UDO cycles (understand, design and orchestrate) – especially in the upcoming military force structures based on MUM-T – (manned unmanned teaming). Unmanned-Remote-Hypersonic-Precision warfare in the sixth wave of innovation (2020-2045) with algorithmic intelligence and quantum computing built on things becoming nano, autonomous and networked to synthesize reality, energy, and biology, will transform warfare and wars.

We assert that there are four main domains of our existence – Cognitive/Mind (C), Life/Living domain, Information Domain (I), and Physical (P) domain. We call them the CLIP domains. The impact of technological changes as reflected in the sixth wave of innovation (See will transform warfare ahead.

We will describe the evolutionary paths and potential revolutions of warfare characteristics and possible ways nature of war itself may change as a calibrated organized threat and capability to degenerate and demolish the opponents’ systems of existence and sustainability. This could lead to new emergences. Rather than the Clausewitz’s “invariant” nature of war as reflected in ” organized violence ” new evolution will lead to and will be led by novel complex intelligent strategic systems that will evolve from optimization focus to anti-fragile evolvability through on-the-fly assurance of robust actions.

In this context, the fundamental shift in warfare will be the role of commanders shifting from Decision makers to Battle/Combat Designers. It will need the transformation of John Boyd’s Observe, Orient, Decide and Act (OODA) loops that have been the key strategic construct to a much more relevant and proposed construct of Understand, Design and Orchestrate (UDO) – the new UDO loop of battle design in a manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T). The teamed-up systems will provide the battle-designers a new ability to impose political will through strategically designed calibrated-battle for organized threat to demolish and disrupt the adversary.


• Warfare in 5 waves of Innovation (till 2020)

• The Sixth Wave of Innovation (2020-2045)

• The Unrestricted Warfare through Multi-domain Multi-dimensional Weaponization

• Remote Lethality for 7Ds of Destruction

• The C5ISR – The Systems Fusion from System of Systems

• Manned-Unmanned Teaming – The Holy Grail of Unmanned Warfare

• From Mechanization to Informatization to Intelligentization (The Chinese Thinking)

• Towards Genius Warfare Systems

• A readiness assessment and evolution framework for Multi-Dimensional Multi-Domain MUM-T warfare with OODA and UDO loops

The article first appeared on “IADN Strategic Focus” magazine, June-July 2022 Issue.


  • Navneet Bhushan

    A former Defence Scientist, he is founder director of CRAFITTI CONSULTING ( - a Strategy, Technology, Innovation and Intellectual Property Consulting firm focused on co-crafting solutions for global problems. He regularly writes on defence and security. He is the principal author of Strategic Decision Making- Applying the Analytic Hierarchy Process published by Springer-Verlag, UK, as part of the Decision Engineering Series. Blogs Contact:

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