The Unspoken Consequence of Command, Control Communications Technology: Enhanced Micromanagement by Risk-Averse Commanders
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Technological advancements in communications provide the operational commander with a significantly enhanced real-time understanding of the battlespace, enabling more robust employment of centralized control. However, along with its benefits, this command, control and communications C3 network includes the dangerous consequence of eroding the autonomy of tactical command through enhanced micromanagement by risk-averse operational commanders. Selected historical examples demonstrate that advances in C3 technology have been a force multiplier that enables the implementation of broader strategies by drastically improving the operational commanders understanding and control of the battlespace and battleforce. However, as exemplified by operations in Kosovo, technological advancement when put in the hands of risk-averse operational commanders also can serve as an enabler of potentially damaging micromanagement. Ultimately, training, doctrine and incentives will enhance the effectiveness of C3 integration, but the personality and leadership traits of the operational commander will ultimately determine how effectively this technology is integrated into the operational art of warfare toward the achievement of military objectives. The forgiving battlefields of recent conflicts have afforded commanders the opportunity to experiment with the application and misapplication of C3 in a relatively low-risk environment. Failure to maximize the effective employment of C3 in future conflicts against more formidable, multi-dimensional adversaries, would likely prove detrimental to achieving U.S. objectives. 29 refs.
- Administration and Management
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Command, Control and Communications Systems