Beyond Our Glorious Past: Some Cultural Barriers to Realizing Network Centric Warfare in the Australian Defense Force
MARINE CORPS UNIV QUANTICO VA SCHOOL OF ADVANCED WARFIGHTING (SAW)
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The military organization and culture that has been handed down from the battlefields of the nineteenth and twentieth century presents significant barriers to shared situational awareness and hence the adoption of Network Centric Warfare for the Australian Defense Force. Two key areas of resistance are the departmental paradigms that have been established over the last one hundred years and the continuing institutional isolation that diffuses the organizational loyalty required of a networked force. Diffusion of organizational loyalty detracts from the network-centric ideal of loyalty placed at the highest level and preferably to the mission. While it is accepted that loyalty based cohesion at the small unit level is vital for effective action under extreme stress, it must be noted that diffused organizational loyalty can also produce negative resource competition and solidify institutional boundaries. The institutional boundaries of departments, services, and corps provide a compartmentalized organizational focus for shared experience and parochial consensus that detracts from mission orientation. The Australian Defense Forces current linear command structure of units, formations and groups places far too many command nodes over sensing or shooting entities for the rapid achievement of the collaborative situational awareness that enhances tempo. The ability to conduct military operations at a higher tempo and with decisive effects hinges on being able to leverage all the elements of national power. It is pointless to have a shared situational awareness if it based on an isolated military picture of the battlespace.
- Military Forces and Organizations