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Transforming Defense
National Security in the 21st Century
Report of the National Defense Panel - December 1997

GLOSSARY

AAN

Army After Next

above the line force structure

The force structure (including numbers, strengths, and composition and major items of equipment) for the Armed Forces at the following unit levels:

(A) In the case of the Army, the division.
(B) In the case of the Navy, the battle group.
(C) In the case of the Air force, the wing.
(D) In the case of the Marine Corps, the expeditionary force.
(E) In the case of special operations forces of the Army, Navy, or Air Force, the major operating unit.
(F) In the case of the strategic forces, the ballistic missile submarine fleet, the heavy bomber force, and the intercontinental ballistic missile force.

asymmetric

The property of being dissimilar in nature to its counterpart; not a mirror image. In military parlance, the opposition of two unlike forces who seek to gain advantage over the other by differing applications of power.

AWE

Advanced Warfighting Experiment

BRAC

Base realignment and closure

centers of gravity

Those characteristics, capabilities, or localities from which a military force derives its freedom of action, physical strength, or will to fight.

CINC

Commander In Chief

CINCSPACE

Commander In Chief, U. S. Space Command

CJCS

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

counterproliferation

The full range of actions by the U. S. government to deter, delay, halt, or roll back the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems. Counterproliferation efforts are associated with the following seven functional areas:

1) proliferation prevention;
2) strategic and tactical intelligence;
3) battlefield surveillance;
4) counterforce;
5) active defense;
6) passive defense;
7) counterterrorism.

CVX

Future class of aircraft carrier

cyber-assault

Attacks on or through cyberspace

cyberspace

1. The Global Information Infrastructure.
2. That aspect of the area of conflict composed of the electromagnetic spectrum and non-human sensing dimension in which stealth-masked forces either stage attacks or seek refuge from them.

cyberterrorism

Acts of terrorism committed through cyberspace.

deterrence

The prevention from action by fear of consequences brought about by the existence of a credible threat of unacceptable counteraction

DoD

Department of Defense

DoD Directive 5100.1

The document that promulgates the responsibilities and functions of the Department of Defense.

FYDP

Future Years Defense Program

GAO

General Accounting Office

Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986

Legislation for defense reform championed by Senator Barry Goldwater and Congressman Bill Nichols that sought to bestow greater autonomy and responsibility to the warfighters leading the unified and specified commands. More particularly, it emphasized the civilian authority of the Secretary of Defense, improved military advice provided to the President and the National Security Council, and placed clear responsibility on the commanders of the unified and specified combatant commands to the President through the Secretary of Defense. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the service chiefs were specifically omitted in this chain of command.

HUMINT

Human Intelligence information infrastructure Linkages of individual information systems in a myriad of direct and indirect paths that transcend industry, media and the military and include both government and non-government entities.

information operations

Actions taken to affect adversary information and information systems while defending one's own information and information systems.

information superiority

The capability to collect, process, and disseminate an uninterrupted flow of information while exploiting or denying an adversary's ability to do the same.

information warfare

Information operations conducted during time of crisis or conflict to achieve or promote specific objectives over a specific adversary or adversaries. Also called IW.

Infrastructure

A term generally applicable to all fixed and permanent installations, fabrications, or facilities for the support and control of military forces.

"iron mountains"

Large stockpiles of armaments and munitions.

JCDC

Joint Concept Development Center

littoral

A zone of military operations along a coastline, consisting of the seaward approaches from the open ocean to the shore which must be controlled to support operations ashore, as well as the landward approaches to the shore that can be supported and defended directly from the sea.

nano-technology

The art of manipulating materials on an atomic or molecular scale to build microscopic devices.

narco-state

A country dominated by drug organizations

narco-terrorism

Terrorism financed by or conducted to further the aims of drug traffickers.

National Security Act of 1947

The National Security Act of 1947, (P. L. 80-253) established the intragovernmental structure for managing the national security needs of the post-war environment. The Act defined the post-war military services, created an independent Air Force, established the Department of Defense, and created the Central Intelligence Agency. It also created the National Security Council, under the chairmanship of the President.

NATO

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

non-proliferation

Actions, programs, and initiatives to prevent or slow the spread of WMD technology, equipment, and materials. (see counterproliferation)

pandemic

Epidemic over a wide geographic area: e. g. pandemic influenza.

"posse comitatus"

The 1868 Posse Comitatus law prohibits the Army and Air Force from engaging in domestic law enforcement; a long-standing order from the Secretary of the Navy extends that prohibition to the Navy and Marine Corps.

PPBS

Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System

proliferation

The spread of WMD and associated technologies

QDR

Quadrennial Defense Review

R& D

Research and Development

rogue state

A country engaged in behavior counter to the norms of international security, such as supporting terrorism or developing weapons of mass destruction.

salvo

The simultaneous firing of a number of weapons at a given target.

sanctuary

A nation or area near or contiguous to the combat area which by tacit agreement between the warring powers is exempt from attack and therefore serves as a refuge for staging, logistic, or other activities of the combatant powers.

SAR

Synthetic Aperture Radar

sarin

Nerve poisoning gas of organic phosphorus compound developed by the Nazis in the Second World War. Pure sarin is colorless and odorless and is described as 500 times as toxic as potassium cyanide.

special operations

Operations conducted by specially organized, trained, and equipped military and paramilitary forces to achieve military, political, economic, or psychological objectives by unconventional military means in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive areas. These operations are conducted during peacetime competition, conflict, and war, independently or in coordination with operations of conventional, nonspecial operations forces. Political-military considerations frequently shape special operations, requiring clandestine, covert, or low visibility techniques and oversight at the national level. Special operations differ from conventional operations in degree of physical and political risk, operational techniques, mode of employment, independence from friendly support, and dependence on detailed operational intelligence and indigenous assets.

Special Operations Forces

Those active and reserve component forces of the military services designated by the Secretary of Defense and specifically organized, trained, and equipped to conduct and support special operations.

START II

Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty II. Nuclear arms reduction treaty between Russia and the United States. Signed between the United States and the USSR in July 1991, it would reduce strategic nuclear forces to 3,000 3,500 on each side. The U. S. Senate gave its advice and consent to ratification of the Treaty in 1996. The Russian Duma is considering the treaty for ratification.

START III

Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty III. Follow-on negotiations to reduce nuclear arsenals below levels under consideration in the START II agreement. A proposed agreement in March 1997 would reduce levels to 2000 2500 warheads on each side.

stealth

Technology that minimizes the observable aspects of a piece of military equipment, including radar and infrared signature, visibility, and sound.

transnational threats

Threats or challenges which
1) stem from and have effects across more than one state;
2) are a function of the changing balance between the nation-state's capacity and authority to use force and that of non-state entities; and
3) involve the actions of non-state actors in terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, and weapons proliferation.

UCP

Unified Command Plan. The document, approved by the President, which sets forth basic guidance to all unified combatant commanders; establishes their missions, responsibilities, and force structure; delineates the general geographical area of responsibility for geographic combatant commanders; and specifies functional responsibilities for functional combatant commanders.

unconventional warfare

A broad spectrum of military and paramilitary operations, normally of long duration, predominantly conducted by indigenous or surrogate forces who are organized, trained, equipped, supported, and directed in varying degrees by an external source. It includes guerrilla warfare and other direct offensive, low visibility, covert, or clandestine operations, as well as the indirect activities of subversion, sabotage, intelligence activities, and evasion and escape.

Unified Command

A command with a broad and continuing mission under a single commander and composed of significant assigned components of two or more Military Departments, and which is established and so designated by the President, through the Secretary of Defense with the advice and assistance of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

WCF

Working Capital Fund. A revolving fund established to finance inventories of supplies and other stores, or to provide working capital for industrial-type activities.

WMD

Weapons of Mass Destruction. This usually refers to chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons and the missiles capable of carrying them. Sometimes radiological weapons are also included.



[Back]

[Contents]
Transforming Defense
National Security in the 21st Century
Report of the National Defense Panel - December 1997