Centralisation and Decentralisation in Network Centric Warfare

6-2-4.jpg
6-2-4.jpg

Centralisation and Decentralisation in Network Centric Warfare

9.95

Author(s): Anthony H. Dekker
No pages: 6
Year: 2003
Article ID: 6-2-4
Keywords: command and control, command systems, network centric warfare
Format: Electronic (PDF)

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Abstract: In this paper, we examine the spectrum of choices between organisational centralisation and decentralisation in the presence of emerging trends in communications, information-processing, and sensor technologies. These technologies are important drivers in the current move towards Network Centric Warfare (NCW), and raise the question: should the new networks being developed be used to enable greater centralisation, or greater decentralisation? We reduce the choice to six basic questions (covering issues such as facilities, information availability, communications, and time constraints), and examine how the answers to these questions are impacted by technological change. Our analysis suggests that most new technologies can support both centralisation and decentralisation. As a result, over coming decades, the choice will be increasingly determined by a purely theoretical question, namely the possibility of a 'global optimum'. This in turn is based on characteristics of the air, maritime, and land environments, with a global optimum more likely in the air and maritime environments, and less likely in the land environment.