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Multi-Domain Battle Gets a New Operational Name

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U.S. Army
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The term “Multi-Domain Battle” is changing, the commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command announced May 22.

Speaking via video conference to the Association of the U.S. Army’s LANPAC conference in Honolulu, Gen. Stephen J. Townsend said the new, preferred new phrase is “Multi-Domain Operations.” It is more inclusive of the type of competition that is now underway between the U.S. and other nations, big and small.

The change has been discussed for some time as the Army and the other services, the Defense Department and the State Department tried to agree on a name that took into account a global competition that doesn’t always involve fighting and battles.

“Battle sounds more tactical than strategic,” Townsend said. “Winning battle is not necessarily winning the competition.”

The new phrase, which will soon begin appearing in Army documents, recognizes that persistent competition with other nations “can sometimes cycle into battle but not always.”

The Multi-Domain Battle phrase was unveiled in 2016 as a different way of looking at joint service operations such as the AirLand Battle strategy that was so successful during the First Gulf War. It was part of the Army theme of shaping itself to “win in a complex world.”

The other services bought into the notion, often highlighted by the possibility of the Army providing coastal artillery protection for the Navy. Field Manual 3-0: Operations, released last fall, discusses Multi-Domain Battle on and in land, air, sea, space and cyberspace.