Operational Design

Operational Design, Taming Wicked Problems, and Lawfare

Abstract:

This paper examines operational design as one aspect of a larger design-thinking domain. Design and designing are firmly established within the literature and describe those actions and endeavours associated with creating form and/or function—the object at the centre of the writers’ attention has a purpose and its purposefulness can be measured objectively. Operational design, on the other hand, is a relatively new term and is used within a military context to describe a form of operational planning that is more attentive to the inner subtleties of an area of interest and necessarily postpones the development of courses of action until after the subject has been thoroughly and comprehensively appreciated. It acknowledges the key characteristics of wickedness and messiness that also frustrate efforts to achieve outcomes in heavily contested social contexts—conflict. In these contexts, there is a rich presence of those who oppose, those who are neutral, and those who support—all must be attended to. Ultimately, all conflict is a clash of wills and a search for asymmetry; operational design and growing the practise of lawfare, therefore, aids the development, sequencing, and execution of least effort activities to achieve specified outcomes. The method presented does not seek to replace current military planning process; it does, however, offer a valuable companion method for situations of great complexity and ambiguity, where imaginative thinking, including the use of lawfare, may be appropriate.

Sustainability of the Afghan Law Enforcement and Security Forces: A ‘Wicked, Messy Problem’

ABSTRACT

Aside from the challenges associated with establishing and maintaining security within Afghanistan, government officials are faced with the additional and equally complex tasks of implementing and maintaining appropriate sustainability measures over the longer term. This paper explores the subject of Afghan security force sustainability using General Morphological Analysis (GMA)—a method that has proven to be highly suited to the detailed analysis of wicked, messy problems. The paper acknowledges that the sustainability problem in Afghanistan exhibits systemic features that conspire to cause underperformance and, if an appropriate level of sustainability is to be achieved, these systems-based elements must be managed. 

Journal of Information Warfare

The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.

Keywords

C

C2
C2S
CDX
CIA
CIP
CPS

D

DNS
DoD
DoS

I

IA
ICS

S

SOA

X

XRY

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