IWS - The Information Warfare Site
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Network-Centric Warfare
Is this our answer to information superiority?


"Network-Centric Warfare (NCW) is an approach to the conduct of warfare that derives its power from the effective linking or networking of the warfighting enterprise. It is characterized by the ability of geographically dispersed forces (consisting of entities) to create a high level of shared battlespace awareness that can be exploited via self-synchronization and other network-centric operations to achieve commanders' intent (Source: Network Centric Warfare)."

The authors of Network-Centric Warfare alluded to the fact that NCW has focused on communication networks, rather than on warfare or operations. "Networks are merely a means to an end; they convey "stuff" from one place to another and they are the purview of technologists. NCW does not focus on network-centric computing and communications, but rather focuses on information flows, the nature and characteristics of battlespace entities, and how they need to interact. NCW is all about deriving combat power from distributed interacting entities with access to information. NCW reflects and incorporates the characteristics necessary for success in the Information Age—the characteristics of agility and the ability to capitalize on opportunities revealed by developing an understanding of the battlespace that is superior to that developed by an adversary (Network Centric Warfare)."

Transforming from a platform-centric to a network centric force is not an easy task. A recent article in the Signal Journal (Nov 01) titled Challenges Loom for Network-Centric Warfare provided that it may take at least a century to fully transform the military. This article outlined a report to Congress on network-centric warfare that pointed out that "the question is no longer if network-centric warfare makes sense, but how best to achieve it." The transformation to a network-centric force will provide a "force that can dramatically increase survivability, lethality, speed, timeliness, and responsiveness (Challenges Loom for Network-Centric Warfare, Signal Nov 01)."

The transformation of our force is a very exciting initiative for further study. I will provide some links for you to lurk about. The questions that you should think about while exploring is how will the future force affect me? What will I need to do/change in order to support this force?

Network Centric Warfare. Exceptional resource. Will link you to the book, Network Centric Warfare, Developing and Leveraging Information Superiority and several articles, to include the report to Congress on NCW.

War-Gaming Network-Centric Warfare. Very interesting article by a Navy captain who presents the idea that war-gaming is required to be very different in the NCW world.

Network-Centric Report to Congress. Excellent site to explore. It may give you some trouble getting in....the site is not very reliable but if you do get in, take time to lurk about!

It might be a good time for you to explore The Future if you have not done so already........

What is Information Warfare.... The Threat....
The First Information War.... Defense in Depth Strategy....