Friday, September 03, 2010

Some Military History from Down Under... way of Leavenworth, because it is a revised version of one of my former student's master's thesis.

Lieutnent Colonel Christopher R. Smith, Network Centric Warfare, Command, and the Nature of War (Canberra: Land Warfare Studies Centre, 2010). (The pdf is available at the link.)

Here is the abstract:

Military theorists such as David Alberts contend that information technologies will allow for wider and more rapid sharing of information. In order to take advantage of the emerging possibilities presented by information technologies, the theorists recommend changes to the structure of information age military organisations and changes to the methods for command and control of military forces. Some of their ideas have implications for the traditional function of command. This study paper asks how contemporary military theorists account for the essence of command in information age theories of warfare. Case studies of Frederick the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte and Dwight D Eisenhower demonstrate that the essence of command is the dynamic relationship among nine imperatives. These imperatives include context, action, nerve, presentation, design, intellect, expertise, coherence and the individual. This study paper contends that the emerging information age theories of warfare are flawed because they are based on a definition of command that does not account for these imperatives. It serves as a warning to those who might seek to optimise an army for network centric warfare.
Seriously, if you have any interest in military history, take a look. This guy is brilliant.

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