Lessons learned in Afghanistan and Iraq established the need for improving our capability to conduct wide-ranging netted operations that present more uncertainty to an adaptive and elusive enemy.
The U.S. military currently enjoys "command of the commons," to use one academic's phrase. 1 This translates into an unparalleled capacity to leverage the oceans, space, and air—and the corresponding ability to negate their use by our antagonists. It is a crucial element of our overwhelming military superiority. While we dominate the commons, however, recent combat operations suggest a shift toward more complex contested zones, including the dense urban jungles and congested littorals, where the majority of the world's population and economic activity are centered. 2