Digitisation of the Battlespace and the Principles of War

4-1-5.jpg
4-1-5.jpg

Digitisation of the Battlespace and the Principles of War

9.95

Author(s): J. Marc Widdowson
No pages: 5
Year: 2001
Article ID: 4-1-5
Keywords: art of war, battlefield digitisation, command and control, command systems
Format: Electronic (PDF)

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Abstract: Digitisation is expected to deliver operational benefits. However, it may prove a three-edged sword. Commanders will be better informed, but so will their subordinates and their enemy. The commander's greater comprehension of events is an opportunity. The task of leading an information-rich formation is a challenge. The possibility of information transparency is a threat. Some sophisticated and perhaps brave thinking will be required in order to seize the opportunity, meet the challenge and counter the threat. Technology will never substitute for good generalship and human qualities and moral issues will, if anything, be increasingly decisive in this environment. Commanders will need to be able to focus on critical issues in a wealth of data. Roles and responsibilities should change to emphasise leadership over management. Creativity will be rewarded and predictability heavily punished. Experience suggests that armies will be unable to make radical philosophical changes during peacetime. The next major war will teach some hard lessons. Being ready to learn fast is more important than having the answers in advance.