Leading in the 21st Century:The Network Centric Challenge

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to release the newest publication in its Forum paper series, Leading in the 21st Century: The Network Centric Challenge, by Col Herbert C. Kemp, Ph.D., USAF (Ret.). Kemp, a veteran Air Force intelligence officer, explores the rise of the so-called “network centric environment,” and how modern communications, the increased volume of information, and shrinking decision making cycles have not only changed how the world conducts business and culture, it is transforming how militaries organize and carry out leadership tasks in war.

Despite the advances of the information age, the armed forces are still largely built around industrial age models, processes, and equipment which may not translate into better cooperation or interoperability, he writes. “The US military has undergone previous technology-driven transformations,” Kemp writes. “But organizational adaptation has typically lagged the advent of new technology.” Information age military forces must increasingly not only worry about challenges and threats in the physical world, but how they lead, command, and control the application of force across a network. To better deal with these challenges, the US military will have to transform its structures and processes to “more closely reflect the post-modern world in which they will need to operate.”

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