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WIRED MAGAZINE: Wired Issue 15.12

How Technology Almost Lost the War: In Iraq, the Critical Networks Are
Social  Not Electronic

By Noah Shachtman

"The network-centric approach had worked pretty much as advertised.
Even the theory's many critics admit net-centric combat helped make an
already imposing American military even more effective at locating and
killing its foes. The regimes of Saddam Hussein and Mullah Omar were
broken almost instantly. But network-centric warfare, with its
emphasis on fewer, faster-moving troops, turned out to be just about
the last thing the US military needed when it came time to rebuild
Iraq and Afghanistan. A small, wired force leaves generals with too
few nodes on the military network to secure the peace. There aren't
enough troops to go out and find informants, build barricades, rebuild
a sewage treatment plant, and patrol a marketplace. ... Inside the
Pentagon, the term network-centric warfare is out of fashion, yet
countless generals and admirals still adhere to its core principles.
On the streets of Iraq, though, troops are learning to grapple with
the guerrilla threat. And that means fighting in a way that couldn't
be more different from the one Donald Rumsfeld embraced. The failures
of wired combat are forcing troops to improvise a new, socially
networked kind of war."

See also:

Network-Centric Warfare: Its Origin and Future

By Vice Admiral Arthur K. Cebrowski, U.S. Navy, and John J. Garstka

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