Accession Number:

ADA394036

Title:

The Effects of Real-Time News Coverage on Military Decision-Making

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1997-03-01

Pagination or Media Count:

49.0

Abstract:

Today combat is news before it concludes. The conditions which effect battlefield commanders and their soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines are broadcast real-time into the living rooms of the world. One of the strengths of Americas military is the initiative displayed by its combat leaders. Will real-time news coverage stifle initiative in our combat leaders and encourage micro-management by the NCA If so, what could be done to mitigate this before it negatively impacts the military leaders decision-making process Information technology is affecting military decision-making in a way never before experienced. In a sterile environment our political leaders form opinions and second guess decisions at nearly the same time commanders are required to make them. At the strategic and operational level, a political leader has the ability to make decisions affecting the battlefield from their office. The uniqueness of the media coverage of the Somalia operation and the Gulf War establishes a strategic and operational perspective for real-time news impacts on military decision-makers. While the public has a right to know, do they need to know instantaneously Commanders should prepare for, understand and exploit the capabilities of real-time news coverage during military operations. This research explores the risks commanders are confronted with due to the availability of real-time news and discusses how real-time media coverage can be used to a commanders advantage.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE