Complexity at the Battle of Midway: Implications for Network-Centric Warfare
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI
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The lessons of the battle of Midway are relevant to the U.S. Navys effort to implement network-centric warfare. Japanese forces at the battle were superior to those of the United States both in number and quality. Both forces employed the same technology and similar tactics. The margin of U.S. victory was superior intelligence, and command and control that relied on the initiative of subordinates to self-organize to defeat the enemy. U.S. execution of the Midway battle plan exemplified the tenets of shared awareness, speed of command, and self-synchronization to meet the commanders intent that will underpin the network-centric Navy. The U.S. Navy must adapt its concept of command and control to realize fully the benefits of network-centric operations. Navy doctrine should more explicitly recognize that its fighting forces are a complex adaptive system and command them as such. Control should become less rather than more centralized as the result of more information. The commanders intent will become even more important as subordinate levels of command gain more information and power to influence the battle. The principles of war, particularly simplicity, will retain their importance in the network-centric environment.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Command, Control and Communications Systems