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Full-spectrum dominance is where a military structure achieves control over all elements of the battlespace using land, air, maritime, space, and cyber based assets.

Full spectrum dominance includes the physical battlespace; air, surface and sub-surface as well as the electromagnetic spectrum and information space. Control implies that freedom of opposition force assets to exploit the battlespace is wholly constrained.

US military doctrine

Officially known as full-spectrum superiority and defined by the U.S. military as:

The cumulative effect of dominance in the air, land, maritime, and space domains and information environment that permits the conduct of joint operations without effective opposition or prohibitive interference.[1]

The United States military's doctrine has espoused a strategic intent to be capable of achieving this state in a conflict, either alone or with allies[2] by defeating any adversary and controlling any situation across the range of military operations.

The stated intent implies significant investment in a range of capabilities; dominant maneuver, precision engagement, focused logistics, and full-dimensional protection.


As early as 2005, the credibility of full-spectrum dominance as a practical strategic doctrine was dismissed by Professor Philip Taylor of the University of Leeds[3] an expert consultant to the US and UK governments on psychological operations, propaganda and diplomacy.

"It's true, though rarely recognized in the control-freakery world of the military, that full spectrum dominance is impossible in the global information environment."

See also


  1. Joint Publication 1-02, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, 8 Nov 2010
  2. Joint Vision 2020, U.S. Department of Defense
  3. "Government Executive Magazine:". 

Further reading

  • Mahajan, Rahul Full Spectrum Dominance: U.S. Power in Iraq and Beyond New York: 2003 Seven Stories Press
  • Engdahl, F. William Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order Boxborough, MA: 2009 Third Millennium Press. 268 pages.

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