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Shock-Based Operations. New Wine in an Old Bottle

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It is only a slight exaggeration to say that hardly a day goes by without the introduction of some remarkable development in the fields of information technology or bioenvironmental science. Such advances have had extraordinary consequences not only for industry, academia, medicine, and the social sciences, but also for warfare. In fact, while it is reasonable to suggest that many previous military-inspired scientific breakthroughs paved the way for a wide variety of spin-off societal improvements, the standard model has been turned on its head in the information age. In the military we now often find ourselves at a comparative disadvantage as we try to grasp how to take advantage of breathtaking changes in other fields. Indeed, at times it is as if we are surfing the ever-higher waves of information power more than we are in any practical sense controlling the heights or frequency of those waves. The rapid pace of technological change demands equally frenetic efforts by our military to find more effective ways to deter and defeat our potential competitors and battlefield opponents. Over the past decade or so, we have been moving at an impressive pace in our attempts to advance military doctrine and improve joint military operations. Nevertheless, for the most part our changes to warfighting doctrine have been largely evolutionary. It is time to cross a new threshold. Apart from gaining a better understanding of technologys effects on our ability to fight and win wars, we need to implement revolutionary changes in both targeting and combat assessment doctrine at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of war.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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