Operations of this sort do have advantages that more traditional approaches lack. For example, properly executed distributed networked operations are less dependent on the survival of individual units and thus should be harder for an adversary to disrupt. To reach its full potential, Network Centric Warfare must be deeply rooted in operational art.
The key is how the activities of geographically dispersed and functionally diverse units are orchestrated, or controlled. This is obviously a complex matter that requires a thorough understanding of the concepts upon which distributed networked operations are based.
This book aims at the Network Centric Warfare concept; to explain how it embodies the characteristics of the Information Age; to identify the challenges in transforming this concept into a real operational capability; and to suggest a prudent approach to meeting these challenges.
David S. Alberts, John J. Garstka, Frederick P. Stein are top thought-leaders in Information Age innovation and published pioneering work in the application of New Science techniques to military problems and lectures internationally on the future of military forces. This book is the product of an ongoing effort to understand and articulate the power of information superiority in warfare from a Joint perspective.
Information & Network Centric Operations
Information has long been an integral component of warfare. Requirement of dominance over an adversary necessitates knowing his center of gravity, influencing his perception and safeguarding organization's sensitive information. History is replete with examples of how information superiority has influenced political and military struggles, from the earliest battles of recorded history to current military operations.
1. What is Information
Information is defined as
' Data collected from the environment and processed into a usable form.'
Information begins as derived data from observable fats or events. Interpreting data leads
to the development of the information. The ultimate interpreter is the person receiving the data. At times, though, an observed event is too complex for the human mind to dissect. Machines are
used to reduce data into a manageable and comprehensible set. They are the information systems
and come in both hardware and software terms.
A given piece of data, largely meaningless by itself gains meaning in a situational context, when it is processed. This processed data than by definition becomes information. Knowledge is derived from information.
2. Information Operations (IO) Activities
Information operation synthesizes all aspects of information, to support combat power, with the aim of dominating battle space at right time, right place and with the right resources. Complete knowledge of location, combat effectiveness, current activity of own forces and an adversary's location, disposition, combat efficiency, preparedness, determination to fight etc. are essential inputs for conceiving, planning and executing naval operations. These inputs