Crack in the Foundation Defense Transformation and the Underlying Assumption of Dominant Knowledge in Future War
Strategy research project
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
This paper examines and evaluates the basic assumption that underpins much of the defense transformation initiative. The intellectual foundation for building tomorrows military force rests on the unfounded assumption that technologies emerging from the information revolution will lift the fog of war and permit U.S. forces to achieve a very high degree of certainty in future military operations. The assumption of dominant knowledge in future war threatens to undermine the best efforts of senior military and civilian officials and create vulnerabilities in future American forces. The paper examines the origin and growth of the assumption and demonstrates how it has pervaded and corrupted joint and service visions of future war and is already having a negative effect on doctrine and organization. The paper exposes the fallacy of near-certainty in future war using logic and military history including analysis of recent conflicts. Desert Storm, Somalia, Kosovo, and Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom receive particular attention. The paper also evaluates Joint experimentation and concept development and makes recommendations concerning the next steps to take in defense transformation. The paper concludes that an embrace of the uncertainty of war, balanced Joint Forces, effective joint integration, and adaptive leadership will prove critical to future national security.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics