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Command-and-Control Warfare

An exceptional example of command-and-control warfare is the destruction of the Iraqi command-and-control infrastruture during Operation Desert Storm . The destruction of these structures delayed, and in some cases halted communications of the Iraqi leaders.

Interestingly enough, Libicki shares with us that "gunning for the commander's head" is an old aspect of warfare. Examples he presents in his book are as follows: in ancient times it was practice to seize the head of the enemy's king; sharpshooters sniped generals during the Civil War; the take down of Admiral Yamamoto's plane in WWII; and the attempts to locate Saddam Hussein in the Gulf and Mohammed Aideed in Somalia. --- Today we search for Osama bin Laden.

Something to think about....The commander physically locates him/herself in the command center, sometimes referred to as the communication hub. This is where he or she plans, receives and sends information, and executes missions. The command center is highly visible. You can pick the tent out - the largest; the vehicle in which he or she rides -- lots of antennaes and vehicle numbering system; expando vans or buildings -- flags, antennaes or lots of brass coming and going. Libicki questions the visibility of the command centers. He suggests that bunkering down the command center may protect the headquarters but may interfere with their mobility. How can we protect the command center and leaders, while maintaining the position to best direct the battle?

An attack on the command center can be very destructive to military operations and depending on the timing of the attack ..........., could be down right devastating.