Accession Number:

ADA357475

Title:

The Stuff That Binds: On the Nature and Role of In formation in Military Operations.

Descriptive Note:

Monograph,

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1998-05-21

Pagination or Media Count:

157.0

Abstract:

This study assesses the validity and general utility of metaphors used in military theory and doctrine to describe the nature and role of information in military operations. The monograph is an extension of the authors earlier work Physical Metaphor in Military Theory and Doctrine Force, Friction, or Folly. The analytical framework is built upon the curriculum of the Advanced Military Studies Program, US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS. The advice of experts is integrated through a review of scholarly works on human communication, cognition, organization, decision, and complexity. A critical review of these theoretical foundations is provided as appendices and summarized in the basic document. Finding no single best metaphor, the author presents a revision of the US doctrinal cognitive hierarchy and an extension of J.F.C. Fullers Foundations of the Science of War. This provides a unified system of thought in which the correspondence between the various metaphors is apparent. The extension of Fullers work results in the generation of core functions which reconcile the different perspectives on information and other more familiar aspects of military activity as well. The study has shown that Information Superiority is currently a bad metaphor because it considers only the informative nature of information, ignoring the affective nature it promotes inappropriate aggregation of functional proponents in an 10 cell and it promotes a bit count mentality. Commodity is a good metaphor whose most useful feature is perhaps the good correspondence it enjoys with the newer, more complex metaphors, thus making it a good tool for explaining them. Social Glue is a good metaphor that is somewhat abstract and cannot completely describe the nature and causes of moral bonding, but it corresponds well with other metaphors.

Subject Categories:

  • Information Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE