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RUSI and the RAF convened two workshops to look at the evolving relationship between the RAF and industry in the light of the new structural changes within the UK Ministry of Defence, and the implications of the US Joint Operational Access Concept – and associated Air-Sea Battle and Joint Forced Entry Concepts – for the UK and other forces.
This paper, looking at cross-domain capabilities and interoperability, is the result of the second workshop and explores some of the concepts, capabilities and force structures that might be adopted. The recent US Joint Operation Access Concept outlines requirements for high-end contingent capabilities networked across multiple domains to meet emerging anti-access and area-denial threats.
There are both risks and benefits to smaller nations adopting such an approach. Most obviously, in an era of financial uncertainty, there is the risk of overstretch if nations try to do too much with limited resources; however, this approach also presents an opportunity to find greater effectiveness through crossdomain operations and closer integration with regional partners.