IWS - The Information Warfare Site
News Watch Make a  donation to IWS - The Information Warfare Site Use it for navigation in case java scripts are disabled

North Atlantic Assembly Publications


Committee Reports

Science and Technology Committee

Source http://www.naa.be/publications/comrep/1998/ar299stc-e.html


The Revolution in Military Affairs

Special Report

Mr. Lothar Ibrügger (Germany)

General Rapporteur

November 1998

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. INTRODUCTION

II. THE CONCEPT OF A REVOLUTION IN MILITARY AFFAIRS

III. THE GULF WAR

IV. TECHNOLOGY TRENDS AND NEW AREAS OF WARFARE

V. NEW OPERATIONAL CONCEPTS

    A. JOINT VISION 2010

    B. THE CONCEPT FOR FUTURE JOINT OPERATIONS (CFJO)

    C. ARMY VISION 2010 AND ARMY AFTER NEXT

    D. THE FULL SPECTRUM DOMINANCE (FSD)

VI. IMPLICATIONS FOR THE ALLIANCE

APPENDIX (not available electronically)

NOTES AND REFERENCES

I. INTRODUCTION*

1. In recent years, weapons technology has leapt forward. Weapons can be delivered with unprecedented precision; surveillance and reconnaissance systems can provide remarkably detailed information about hostile force structures and locations; and a combination of data analysis and distribution systems can allow this information to be rapidly exploited.

2. Most military analysts now agree that advances in military technology require a fundamental reappraisal and revision of operational concepts to ensure that full advantage is taken of them. This combination of technological advances and revisions in operational concepts represents a revolution in military affairs.

II. THE CONCEPT OF A REVOLUTION IN MILITARY AFFAIRS

3. According to Andrew Marshall, director of the Office of Net Assessments in the Office of the Secretary of Defense:

    "A Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) is a major change in the nature of warfare brought about by the innovative application of new technologies which, combined with dramatic changes in military doctrine and operational and organisational concepts, fundamentally alters the character and conduct of military operations."[1]

4. Such revolutions have occurred many times in history for a variety of reasons. The most obvious cause is technological "push". The invention of gunpowder, the steam engine, the submarine, the internal combustion engine, the aeroplane, the aircraft carrier, and the atom bomb are some of the most obvious innovations which led to fundamental changes in the conduct of warfare. Some of these technological changes had origins in the civilian world while other revolutions in military affairs were brought about by "social-military revolutions" such as the development of railways, which enabled military forces to be moved and supplied over great distances.

5. There is a debate about what exactly constitutes a "revolution in military affairs". Some analysts maintain that there have been only three and that these have been linked to the nature of the societies: agrarian, industrial, and information. Others have identified as many as fourteen. There is agreement, however, that technology alone is insufficient to bring about a true revolution in military affairs. For example, almost five centuries elapsed between the invention of gunpowder and its large-scale employment on the battlefield; and in the early stages of the Second World War, Germany's innovative operational concept that using communications technologies to integrate land and air forces enabled it to defeat French and British forces equipped with very similar technology. In other words, an appropriate operational concept is just as important as technological invention in bringing about a revolution in military affairs.

III. THE GULF WAR

6. The Gulf War in early 1991 gave an indication of some of the key components of the current revolution in military affairs. The Gulf War saw the military use of information technology at its zenith.[2] New technologies enhanced Coalition forces' ability to exchange and use information, and highlighted the imperative of denying the adversary the ability to communicate with his forces.

7. But the most obvious capability was that of precision strike. New guidance technologies have led to the development of munitions that can be delivered with remarkable precision. These include munitions delivered by aircraft, cruise missiles, and artillery. What is often forgotten is the impact that such munitions have on logistics and operations. The ability to destroy certain targets using one or two precision-guided munitions instead of by large-scale bombing cuts the logistic "tail" dramatically.

8. For instance, during the Gulf War, 6,250 tons of precision-guided munitions were used compared with 81,980 tons of "dumb" bombs. Between 80 and 90 per cent of the precision-guided munitions (PGMs) hit their targets compared with about 25 per cent of dumb bombs.[3] As well as yielding logistic benefits, precision-guided munitions enabled the Coalition forces to minimise collateral damage.[4] It should also be noted that the use of systems such as stealth aircraft and cruise missiles enabled certain attacks to take place against highly defended targets virtually without warning.

9. Equally important but less obvious was the role played by sophisticated surveillance, reconnaissance, and intelligence gathering systems. These included proven land, air and space systems as well as some prototypes that were pressed into service. Systems included the E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft that provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications; the RC-135 Rivet Joint electronic intelligence-gathering aircraft; the prototype Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS), as well as a wide variety of photo-reconnaissance aircraft.

10. Extensive use was also made of space assets, both military and commercial, belonging to the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Russia. These provided the Coalition forces with communication, navigation, surveillance, intelligence, and early warning. Using some 60 satellites, Coalition forces had secure strategic and tactical communications enabling time-sensitive information to be exchanged between ground, naval, and air units spread throughout the theatre. [5] Furthermore Coalition forces were able to locate and designate targets with remarkable precision, navigate through the Iraqi desert better than the Iraqis themselves, and find troops in distress faster than ever before thanks to the Global Positioning System (GPS).

11. Another feature of the Gulf War was, of course, the use of Patriot missiles to intercept Iraqi Scud missiles.

12. Much has been written about whether actual performance of precision-guided systems and the Patriot missile interceptor was as impressive as it seemed at the time. Rather less has been made of other shortcomings that were identified such as the presence of many incompatible communications and information systems. Whatever the shortcomings, however, the Gulf War illustrated trends in military technology and provided many lessons for future conflicts.

IV. TECHNOLOGY TRENDS AND NEW AREAS OF WARFARE

13. Current trends in military technology can be categorised in a variety of ways but all present a broadly similar assessment. The following categories were developed by General Gordon Sullivan, former Chief of Staff of the United States Army and co-author Lt.Col. James M. Dubik:

  • Greater lethality
  • Increased volume and precision of fire
  • Better integrative technology leading to increased efficiency and effectiveness
  • Increasing ability of smaller units to create decisive results
  • Greater invisibility and increased detectability.[6]

14. These need little elaboration. Essentially, the trend is towards smaller, more lethal forces, able to deliver a high volume of precise fire through the integration of delivery systems with effective sensor and information distribution systems. At the same time, forces are becoming better able to conceal themselves while their ability to detect hostile forces is increasing.

15. As with previous revolutions in military affairs, the current revolution is leading to the emergence of new warfare areas. A warfare area is a form of warfare with unique military objectives and is characterised by association with particular forces or systems. Past examples include air warfare, armoured warfare, and strategic bombing, to mention but a few.

16. As with trends in technology, different categorisations have been developed and all suffer from some degree of overlap. One particularly useful formulation was produced by a team from Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).[7] The team identified four potential new warfare areas - long-range precision strike, information warfare, dominating manoeuvre, and space warfare.

17. Precision strike systems have been developed since the 1970s and rapid progress continues to be made. Current systems include long-range cruise missiles, and precision-guided munitions delivered by aircraft and artillery. Provided that adequate targeting information is available and can be distributed efficiently, such systems can be used to mount a co-ordinated attack on hostile targets while minimising collateral damage, friendly-fire casualties, and enemy counterstrikes.

18. According to the SAIC team, "Precision strike, in the context of the ongoing RMA, is the ability to locate high-value, time-sensitive fixed and mobile targets; to destroy them with a high degree of confidence; and to accomplish this within operationally and strategically significant time lines while minimising collateral damage, friendly fire casualties, and enemy counterstrikes."

19. The team cites a vivid example to illustrate this area of warfare.

    "In 1943, the United States 8th Air Force prosecuted only 50 strategic targets during the course of the entire year. In the first 24 hours of Desert Storm, the combined air forces prosecuted 150 strategic targets - a thousand-fold increase over 1943 capabilities. By the year 2020, it is not out of the realm of possibility that as many as 500 strategically important targets could be struck in the first minute of the campaign - representing a five thousand-fold increase over Desert Storm capabilities."[8]

Information warfare is identified as another new warfare area. Although the critical value of information in warfare has been acknowledged since ancient times, warfare nowadays relies on information systems to an unprecedented degree. Information-gathering systems such as reconnaissance and early-warning satellites, a wide variety of manned and unmanned air-based systems, etc. provide huge amounts of data which can be sorted and channelled through advanced information distribution and communications.

20. Highly capable information systems are a critical force multiplier and at the same time a potential vulnerability. The goal therefore in this area of warfare is to retain effective use of one's own information assets while destroying or disabling the opponent's. Last year's General Report [AP 237 STC (97) 7] examined the potential for using information systems alone as a means of disrupting both civil and military information infrastructure. In open warfare, however, information warfare is taken to include the use of physically destructive means - such as missile attacks and bombing - to knock out key information assets.

21. Some analysts have gone so far as to add information warfare as a fourth dimension of warfare to the traditional three of air, land, and sea. "As first wave wars were fought over land, and second wave wars were fought over physical resources and productive capacity, the emerging third wave wars will be for the access to and control of knowledge."[9]

22. Dominating manoeuvre is also seen as a new warfare area. Manoeuvre has always been a key element in military operations, but the revolution in military affairs envisages manoeuvre on a global scale, on a much-compressed time scale, and with greatly reduced forces.

23. Dominating manoeuvre is defined as the positioning of forces - integrated with precision strike, space warfare, and information war operations - to attack decisive points, defeat the enemy's "centres of gravity", and accomplish campaign or war objectives. These centres of gravity are key points in command, organisation, resources, transport, etc., whose loss would severely erode an opponent's ability to wage war.

24. Dominating manoeuvre is distinct from traditional concepts of manoeuvre in several ways. Manoeuvre refers to the "employment of forces on the battlefield through movement in combination with fires, to achieve a position of advantage in order to accomplish the mission."[10] Dominating manoeuvre refers to the positioning of all the forces that could be brought to bear on a theatre of operations, and the integration of precision strike, space warfare, and information warfare. The goal would be to employ these various assets against the enemy's critical points simultaneously rather than sequentially, and to re-engage those targets whenever necessary.

25. Ideally, this would entail the employment of new means of movement such as sea transportation systems capable of 100 knots, supersonic air transport, advanced logistic support and perhaps smaller, more self-sufficient field units.

26. Space warfare is viewed as another new area of warfare. The military importance of space has been clear for over 40 years but only recently has it become possible to envisage an almost seamless integration of space systems into military operations. The utility of space systems for communications is well established but their use for global, real-time surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting is a more recent phenomenon. Space systems also provide precise navigation and meteorological data.

27. Further into the future, space transportation systems, anti-satellite weapons, missile defences, and even space-based ground attack systems might play important roles in the conduct of military operations although some of these capabilities would raise complex arms control issues that would have to be addressed.

28. Certainly, the achievement of superiority in space assets would be a critical advantage and its denial to an opponent would be an important war goal.

V. NEW OPERATIONAL CONCEPTS

29. Although most analysts are persuaded that some sort of revolution in military affairs is indeed taking place, others maintain that the changes now occurring are significant but essentially incremental, that there is a need to deal with the growing complexity of modern warfare but that wholesale changes in operational concepts are unwarranted.[11] The main focus of debate, however, is on what the revolution in military affairs will mean, and how best to develop operational concepts to take full advantage of it.

A. JOINT VISION 2010[12]

30. Many of the concepts that have been discussed in the context of the revolution in military affairs have clearly been absorbed by the United States military leadership. In May 1996, the then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John Shalikashvili published a document entitled "Joint Vision 2010" (JV 2010) which is a conceptual template describing how United States armed forces should expect to conduct warfare in the early 21st century. This makes clear that technology is only one dimension, and that military effectiveness also depends upon leadership, personnel, training, organizational structure, and operational concepts.

31. JV 2010 acknowledges that technologically superior equipment has been critical to the success of United States forces in combat. The report also identifies four key technological trends that will greatly enhance capabilities. These are as follows:

  • Long-range precision capability, combined with a wide range of delivery systems
  • The ability to produce a broader range of potential weapons effects, from less-lethal to hard-target kill
  • Low observable technologies and the ability to mask friendly forces
  • Information systems and systems integration.

32. JV 2010 asserts that the combination of these technologies will provide an order of magnitude improvement in lethality. Underpinning future operations will be information technology that will provide the ability to see, prioritize, assign, and assess information so that American forces will achieve "dominant battlespace awareness". This is described as "an interactive 'picture' which will yield much more accurate assessments of friendly and enemy operations within the area of interest." A key goal, therefore, will be "information superiority", the capability to collect, process, and disseminate an uninterrupted flow of information while exploiting or denying an adversary's ability to do the same.

33. Another key aspect of warfare described in JV 2010 is - as the name implies - the conduct of joint operations.

    "By 2010, we should be able to change how we conduct the most intense joint operations. Instead of relying on massed forces and sequential operations, we will achieve massed effects in other ways. Information superiority and advances in technology will enable us to achieve the desired effects through the tailored application of joint combat power."

34. JV 2010 introduces four new operational concepts: dominant manoeuvre, precision engagement, full-dimensional protection, and focused logistics.

1. Dominant Manoeuvre

35. This concept calls for the co-ordinated employment of forces that might be extremely dispersed. It also calls for simultaneous rather than sequential operations. According to JV 2010:

    "Dominant manoeuvre will be the multidimensional application of information, engagement, and mobility capabilities to position and employ widely dispersed joint air, land, sea, and space forces to accomplish the assigned operational tasks. Dominant maneuvre will allow our forces to gain a decisive advantage by controlling the breadth, depth, and height of the battlespace. Through a combination of asymmetric leverage, achieved by our positional advantages, as well as decisive speed and tempo, dominant manoeuvre allows us to apply decisive force to attack enemy centres of gravity at all levels and compels an adversary to either react from a position of disadvantage or quit. Dominant manoeuvre will require forces that are adept at conducting sustained and synchronized operations from dispersed locations. They must be able to apply overwhelming force in the same medium and create asymmetric advantages by attacking cross-dimensionally, such as air or sea against ground or ground and sea against air defences. These forces must have the ability to outpace and outmanoeuvre the enemy. Current systems, enhanced by information superiority, will provide a clearer picture of enemy and friendly locations. Information superiority also will allow joint commanders to co-ordinate widely dispersed units, receive accurate feedback, and execute more demanding, higher precision requirements. Increasingly lethal direct and indirect fire systems, with longer ranges and more accurate targeting, will increase the punch of these forces as they manoeuvre."

36. Dominant manoeuvre is also seen as providing additional self-protection since force elements would be more dispersed, and force build-up times more rapid, because missions would be conducted with less manpower and equipment in the actual theatre of operations. "Altogether...dominant manoeuvre is a prescription for more agile, faster moving joint operations, which will combine air, land, and maritime forces more effectively to deliver decisive combat power."

2. Precision Engagement

37. Precision engagement envisages the employment of precision delivery systems by widely dispersed forces co-ordinated through highly capable information distribution systems.

    "Precision engagement will consist of a system of systems that enables our forces to locate the objective or target, provide responsive command and control, generate the desired effect, assess our level of success, and retain the flexibility to re-engage with precision when required. Even from extended ranges, precision engagement will allow us to shape the battlespace, enhancing the protection of our forces. Information operations will tie together high fidelity target acquisition, prioritized requirements, and command and control of joint forces within the battlespace. This combination will provide a greater assurance of delivering the desired effect, lessen the risk to our forces, and minimize collateral damage."

38. It is important to stress that precision engagement means more than just striking targets more accurately. It is a broader concept that brings together the many means of achieving precision strikes so they form a means of conducting a precisely co-ordinated attack involving subsequent damage assessment and re-engagement if necessary.

3. Full-Dimensional Protection

39. Full-dimensional protection essentially entails protecting friendly forces from the full spectrum of potential threats. Again, information systems would lie at the heart of this capability.

    "The primary prerequisite for full-dimensional protection will be control of the battlespace to ensure our forces can maintain freedom of action during deployment, maneuver and engagement, while providing multi-layered defenses for our forces and facilities at all levels. Full-dimensional protection will enable the effective employment of our forces while degrading opportunities for the enemy. It will be essential, in most cases, for gaining and maintaining the initiative required to execute decisive operations. The concept will be proactive, incorporating both offensive and defensive actions that may extend well into areas of enemy operations. Full-dimensional protection will be built upon information superiority which will provide multidimensional awareness and assessment, as well as identification of all forces in the battlespace. Information warfare will support this effort by protecting our information systems and processes, while denying an adversary the similar capabilities."

40. Full-dimensional protection will incorporate techniques ranging from information warfare and concealment to passive defences and layered missile and air defences. Again, the employment of widely dispersed forces also limits the ability particularly of hostile regional powers to disable or disrupt operations. Emphasis is also placed on the employment of new sensors to detect chemical and biological attacks at great ranges.

4. Focused Logistics

41. The importance of logistics in warfare cannot be overstated. The delivery of appropriate supplies to the right place at the right time is vital. Although much has been made of the tempo of operations in the Gulf War, this tempo could only be achieved after months of building up supplies in the region. JV 2010 envisages future operations being conducted with fewer resources in the actual theatre, but the logistic challenge will be no less severe given the intention to achieve an even more rapid tempo and intensity of operations with force elements that are more widely dispersed.

42. JV 2010 introduces the concept of "focused logistics" to meet the demands of operations in the early 21st century. Logistics will be "responsive, flexible, and precise" through the fusion of information, logistics, and transportation technologies. The goal is to be able to track and redirect assets even while en route, and to provide support in hours or days rather than weeks. Modular supplies, specifically tailored "combat service support packages", and pre-positioning will be used extensively, and lessons, techniques and assets from the business sector will be incorporated as appropriate.

B. THE CONCEPT FOR FUTURE JOINT OPERATIONS (CFJO)

43. The Concept for Future Joint Operations (CFJO) expands the new operational concepts contained in JV 2010 to provide a more detailed foundation for follow-on capabilities assessments. It also represents an important step toward the objective of achieving the right capabilities for the challenges to be faced in the 21st century.

44. The CFJO aims at thinking about the future joint operations in the context of the broad range of challenges anticipated; it also aims at identifying shortcomings in order to develop better and faster processes for evaluating and adapting emerging warfighting capabilities. The CFJO amplifies JV 2010's four operational concepts - dominant manoeuvre, precision engagement, full-dimensional protection, and focused logistics - each enabled by information superiority and technological innovation. The idea is to transform key JV 2010 ideas into actual joint force capabilities. The CFJO is intended to be a living document that will provide the initial basis for a variety of assessment activities.

45. In sum, the JV 2010 constituted an intellectual work defining concepts, whereas the CFJO document is moving to the next step: the actual experimentation so as to turn the concepts into capabilities. The CFJO looks at doctrine, implications of future organisations, how to train the future force, the leadership required for the future force, the materiel aspects and people. The CFJO intends to assess whether the four concepts are relevant and correct. The experimental process consists in war games, command post exercises, field exercises to experiment with the concepts and prove their accuracy for the future force.

    "The CFJO is the first step toward implementing JV 2010. It is intended to be a marketplace of ideas - a tool to help think about future operations. It is a starting point which allows to explore the effects of different combinations of technological and operational variables in seminars, materiel, simulations, exercises, and other experiments to find the combination that best facilitates JV 2010 Full Spectrum Dominance. This exploration will generate ideas for making timely and relevant changes in six critical areas: personnel, leadership, doctrine, education and training, organisation, and materiel."[13]

C. ARMY VISION 2010 AND ARMY AFTER NEXT

46. Army Vision 2010, released in November 1996, identified the patterns of operations, concepts, enablers and technologies the Army needed in the 21st century to convert its vision into reality. It represented a conceptual template of how the Army would achieve new levels of effectiveness as the land component member of the joint warfighting team.

47. Army Vision 2010 focused on a coherent view of the future and on the Army's unique ability to conduct prompt and sustained operations on land across the full spectrum of crisis. It also identified the operational imperatives and enabling technologies that the Army needed in order to remain a full spectrum force in the Information Age.

48. Army Vision 2010 visualises developing concepts and technologies to improve capabilities through 2010, while the Army After Next (AAN) project is working on conceptualising the geostrategic environment 30 years into the future. The AAN was established in February 1996 to provide the Army leadership with a long-term view of the Army's future from about 2010 to 2025. This programme would help the Army adapt to the demands of future warfare. The AAN project includes a series of wargames, workshops, and conferences that provide a venue for development of a long-term vision for the Army. There are four major areas of research: geopolitics, military art, human and organisational theory, and technology.

49. The AAN is a theoretical construct for the Army senior leaders to gain insights about the likely nature of future warfare, the requirements for land power in those years and the issues which must be addressed in order to exploit future opportunities.

D. THE FULL SPECTRUM DOMINANCE (FSD)

50. The main purpose of all those documents is to attain the Full Spectrum Dominance (FSD), which is the ability to dominate an adversary and control any situation across the whole range of military operations.

51. The capability to acquire battlespace situational awareness - i.e. the capability to maintain real-time, all-weather awareness of what is occurring in and above a wide geographical area of operations - and information dominance is the cornerstone for obtaining full spectrum dominance in the battlespace. The warfighter must be able to see, hear, disrupt, deny, out-communicate and out-think any adversary.

52. Full spectrum dominance and the ability to conduct prompt and sustained operations throughout the entire spectrum of crisis will be achieved through the US Army Vision 2010, which, with its set of operational imperatives - Project the force, Decisive operations, Shape the battlespace, Protect the force, and Sustain the force - serves as the linchpin to the concept of future warfighting capabilities in Joint Vision 2010. It also serves as the foundation for the Army After Next, which represents a long-term vision (see Appendix).

VI. IMPLICATIONS FOR THE ALLIANCE

53. The debate about the revolution in military affairs has been conducted almost exclusively in the United States. While several of the United States allies have in recent years conducted defence reviews, no other nation has had such a public debate about the future conduct of warfare, nor does any other nation seem to be undertaking such a wholesale reappraisal of operational concepts. In some respects this is not surprising. The United States maintains a defence research and development effort that dwarfs those of all other nations. In 1996, the United States government spent about $37 billion on defence research and development, while France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy together spent less than $10 billion.[14] Furthermore, European defence R&D efforts are predominantly national in nature and not part of a co-ordinated programme.

54. Given this disparity, the existing technology gap can only widen so that there is an increasing risk that the United States will continue to develop technologies and concepts that dramatically outpace those of the European allies. Already the United States is unique in NATO in possessing substantial long-range heavy-lift capabilities, the full spectrum of military space-based assets, stealth fighters and bombers, and tactical missile defences. Its capabilities in many other areas such as amphibious operations, electronic intelligence gathering, electronic warfare, and precision strike are also far more substantial than those of its allies.

55. While disparities in equipment numbers are inevitable, provided that equipment technology levels and operational concepts are similar, the Alliance can successfully operate as an integrated force. However, if technologies and concepts of operations are markedly different, it will become increasingly difficult to truly integrate Alliance forces into a cohesive whole. Certainly, today's compatibility problems in areas such as tank munitions and communications would seem trivial by comparison.

56. The United States has already shown its concerns for this "technology gap". The Department of Defense has recently asked the Defense Science Board to conduct a study to determine how to make the revolution in military affairs work in the context of coalition operations. As the DoD exploits this revolution, "it must ensure" - it is declared in the terms of reference for the study - "that the emerging US military capabilities are compatible with potential future coalition partners". More specifically, the task force overseeing the study, which is due by the end of this year, is gathering information on issues such as:

  • experiences of recent coalition operations (e.g. Bosnia)
  • plausible future coalition scenarios
  • the role of advanced concept technology demonstrations and simulation techniques in fostering coalition compatibility
  • development of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems (C4ISR)
  • balancing interoperability with security needs
  • strategies and tactics that make complementary use of US and coalition partners' strengths.

57. Of course, the revolution in military affairs might turn out to be more of an evolution than a revolution. Changes in operational concepts might actually be slower in arriving than expected. A certain "cultural" resistance, as well as contrasts among the different military services, US Army, Air Force and Navy, should be taken into account.[15] Even if that is the case, the United States' allies cannot afford to be complacent. There is no doubt that the transatlantic defence technology gap exists and is widening. Without remedial action by the United States' allies, sooner or later - and probably sooner - the gap will become a rift. And how could an equitable partnership be preserved where one party had undergone a revolution in military affairs and the other had not?

58. Joint Vision 2010 states that United States' "history, strategy, and recent experience" suggest that it will usually work in concert with its friends and allies in almost all operations. While this is certainly true, the revolution in military affairs begs important questions about how the allies can ensure that they will be able to work in concert with the United States.

59. The answers to those questions are, understandably, political as much as economic. While all European members of the Alliance are facing stable, or slightly declining, defence budgets, defence equipment costs, according to recent estimates, are rising at an average of 10 per cent each year in Europe.[16] In this environment, it becomes impractical for individual nations to develop and produce independently the technologies and the weapon systems needed to keep pace with the revolution in military affairs. And since coalition warfare is the most likely future scenario, the only viable option is co-operation in the development and production of defence systems.

60. This co-operation will have to involve the geopolitical, military and industrial arenas on both sides of the Atlantic. It will also be facilitated by the ongoing efforts to increase the efficiency of the defence industrial structures in the United States and Europe and to improve transatlantic industrial ties.

61. On the European side, moreover, a consolidation of defence industries is a prerequisite for reducing the transatlantic gap. In the last ten years, a dramatic consolidation process has taken place in the United States: today's top five defence firms then numbered more than 50 independent businesses. Similar opportunities certainly exist among European NATO partners, as we have begun to see. In the next few years, consolidation will eventually increase the competitiveness and the capacity for developing autonomous initiatives of the European industry. Of course, this process has its limits, and many weapons programmes must, and will, remain national. However, consolidation and co-operation is the only option for all systems that require interoperability in coalition conflicts: air defence, communications, intelligence, chemical and biological defence, information warfare and security.

62. Since it is clear that the European defence industry will have to co-operate with the United States in many sectors, this strategy, as a German industrialist has indicated, needs to be clearly defined:

    "It is, however, necessary that the European industry agrees on the way how to consolidate and to define those sectors, on which a cooperation on an equal basis - and this is important - with the United States of America is wished and possible. From a European point of view a coordination between Great Britain, France and Germany which is to be expanded soon to Italy, Sweden and others is a prerequisite. (...) Out of a German point of view this cooperation is unavoidable taking political security into consideration and this cooperation is most desirable for Europe. It is, however, at the same time necessary to determine the fields in which Europe should further compete with the United States."[17]

63. In conclusion, even if the European NATO nations develop their own revolutions in military affairs - and it is desirable that they do so - and they succeed in achieving a certain form of integration in the European defence industry, they will always have to rely on US high technologies, especially in the field of "information dominance". Obviously, it is in the interest of the United States themselves to share part of these defence systems and technologies in order to fill the gap with their allies and maintain the problems of interoperability at a manageable level.


NOTES AND REFERENCES

1. "The Battlefield of the Future" - 21st Century Warfare Issues", Air University, (http://www.cdsar.af.mil/battle.bfoc.html) Chapter 3, p. 1, Jeffrey McKitrick, James Blackwell, Fred Littlepage, Georges Kraus, Richard Blanchfield and Dale Hill

2. "The Battlefield of the Future" - 21st Century Warfare Issues", Air University, (http://www.cdsar.af.mil/battle.bfoc.html) Chapter 3, p. 9, Col. James W. McLendon, "Information Warfare: Impacts and Concerns"

3. Christopher Bolkcom and Joseph A. Tatman, Jane's US Military R&D, Jane's Information Group, 1997 p.175

4. Mention must be made however of the possible long-term consequences of depleted uranium ammunition. There have been suggestions that the munitions have resulted in an increase in the incidence of cancer. If a link is shown to exist, it would be prudent to seek alternative materials and/or to take steps to remove potentially harmful debris.

5. "The Battlefield of the Future" - 21st Century Warfare Issues", Air University, (http://www.cdsar.af.mil/battle.bfoc.html) Chapter 3, p. 9-10, Col. James W. McLendon, "Information Warfare: Impacts and Concerns"

6. Gordon R. Sullivan and James M. Dubik, "Land Warfare in the 21st Century," Strategic Studies Institute, 1993

7. "The Battlefield of the Future" - 21st Century Warfare Issues", Air University, (http://www.cdsar.af.mil/battle.bfoc.html) Chapter 3, p. 1, Jeffrey McKitrick, James Blackwell, Fred Littlepage, Georges Kraus, Richard Blanchfield and Dale Hill

8. "The Battlefield of the Future" - 21st Century Warfare Issues", Air University, (http://www.cdsar.af.mil/battle.bfoc.html) Chapter 3, p. 8, Jeffrey McKitrick, James Blackwell, Fred Littlepage, Georges Kraus, Richard Blanchfield and Dale Hill

9. Alvin and Heidi Toffler, "War and Anti-War: Survival at the Dawn of the 21st Century", Little, Brown, & Co., Boston, 1993

10. Definition from the Department of Defense Directory of Military and Associated Terms, 1 December 1989

11. Stephen Biddle, "Assessing Theories of Future Warfare", Paper presented to the 1997 International Studies Association Annual Convention, Toronto, 19 March 1997

12. The quotations in this section are all taken from Joint Vision 2010. "America's Military: Preparing for Tomorrow", Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 5125 Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington DC 20318-5125, May 1996.

13. "The Concept for Future Joint Operations", expanding Joint Vision 2010, June 1997.

14. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI Yearbook 1998: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security, Table 7.2

15. An example of this is reported in Sean D. Naylor, "Army Panels Warn of Technology Dependence", Defense News, 31 August-1 September 1998, p. 38

16. Figures indicated by Jacques Gansler, US Under Secretary of Defense, during a recent workshop on political-military decision making in Vienna, 22 June 1998.

17. Thomas Diehl, Chairman of Diehl Group, Competition and cooperation between Europe and America in the high-technology field, during the conference organised by the Institut de Relations Internationales et Stratégiques (IRIS), 9 December 1997.

* The Rapporteur would like to thank Andrea Cellino and Nicolas Kaczorowski for their assistance in preparing this Report.


(C) 1999 North Atlantic Assembly