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Network Centric Warfare, Command, and the Nature of War

Australian Army Signalman Lachlan Smith from Task Group Afghanistan updates a computer at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan.
1 February 2010
Lieutenant Colonel Christopher R Smith

In this paper, the author examines the claim that information technologies will allow for wider and more rapid sharing of information. In order to take advantage of the emerging possibilities presented by information technologies, NCW theorists recommend changes to the structure of information age military organisations and changes to the methods for command and control of military forces. Some of their ideas have implications for the traditional function of command.

This study paper asks how contemporary military theorists account for the essence of command in information age theories of warfare. Case studies of Frederick the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte and Dwight D Eisenhower demonstrate that the essence of command is the dynamic relationship among nine imperatives. This study paper contends that the emerging information age theories of warfare are flawed because they are based on a definition of command that does not account for these imperatives.

Last updated
14 December 2017
Army: Courage. Initiative. Respect. Teamwork.
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