General Dennis J. Reimer, CSA, 1997106
Some contend that the concept of NCW is “already having a profound effect on military operations, and will continue to do so.”107 However, the theory and successful application of NCW concepts are still developing and the known and emerging impediments to realizing its full potential are real and cannot be overcome easily.
Applying the concepts of NCW requires significant investments in C4ISR infrastructure and the maturation of emerging technologies that may not develop at the pace required to support rapid force transformation. Additionally, increased C4ISR investments will reduce funding for other programs. As such, overemphasis on C4ISR without appropriate funding for other programs may result in a transformed force that is not properly balanced to meet the demands of the dynamic global environment. Similarly, increased emphasis on C4ISR will generate a new set of network security issues that the force must content with during the conduct of operations.
Application of NCW has significant implications for Army transformation. It requires the co-evolution and development of radically new doctrine, organizations and training processes and strategies, supported in part by fundamental changes in the application of information technology. Failure to co-evolve these processes will limit the real value gained in a network centric force.
The realities and opportunities of the information age clearly demand that the force transform to maintain readiness and relevance. The potential of NCW operational concepts may provide the ways to revolutionize how the Army operates in a joint, capability-based environment. Maturation of this concept and appropriate attention to mitigating known and emerging impediments, however, is crucial to realizing the full potential of it.
. Internet. Accessed 24 October 2003.
Ackerman, Robert K. “Iraq War Operations Validate Hotly Debated Theories,” Signal (July 2003): 31. Database on-line. Available from ProQuest. Accessed 2 November 2003.
________. “Special Operations Forces Become Network-Centric,” Signal March 2003. Journal on-line. Available from . Internet. Accessed 7 December 2003.
________. “Tactical Operations Enable and Benefit from Network-Centric Warfare,” Signal 15 Oct 2003. Journal on-line. Available from . Internet. Accessed 16 November 2003.
Alberts, David S. and Hayes, Richard E. Power to the Edge: Command and Control in the Information Age. Washington, DC: CCRP Publication Series, June 2003.
Alberts, David S. et al. Understanding Information Warfare. Washington, DC: CCRP Publication Series, July 2002.
Alberts, David S., Garstka, John J. and Stein, Frederick P. Network Centric Warfare: Developing and Leveraging Information Superiority 2nd ed. Washington, DC: CCRP Publication Series, February 2000.
Alberts, David S. Information Age Transformation: Getting to a 21st Century Military Washington, DC: CCRP Publication Series, June 2002.
Barnett, Thomas P.M. “The Seven Deadly Sins of Network Centric Warfare” Proceedings, January 1999. Available from . Internet. Accessed 16 November 2003.
Boutelle, Steven W. “Global and Pervasive Information for Joint Warfighters,” Army (October 2003).
Burger, Kim “What Went Right,” Jane’s Defence Weekly (30 April 2003). Database on-line. Available from Jane’s Defence Magazines. Accessed 10 January 2004.
Caterinicchia, Dan. “Pentagon Identifying Net-Centric Core.” Federal Computer Week 30 January 2003. Journal on-line. Available from . Internet. Accessed 26 October 2003.
Caterinicchia, Dan and French, Matthew “Network-centric warfare: Not there yet”, Federal Computer Week 9 June 2003. Journal on-line. Available from . Internet. Accessed 24 October 2003.
Cebrowski, Arthur K. New Rules for a New Era, White Paper. Washington D.C., Department of Defense Office of Force Transformation.
Cebrowski, Arthur K. and Barnett, Thomas P.M. “The American Way of War,” Proceedings (January 2003): 42. Database on-line. Available from ProQuest. Accessed 16 January 2004.
Cebrowski, Arthur K. and Garstka, John J. “Network Centric Warfare: Its Origin and Future,” Proceedings (January 1998): 2. Database on-line. Available from . Internet. Accessed 16 November 2003.
Copley, Curt. “A Commander’s Network-Centric Odyssey,” Proceedings (January 2003). Database on-line. Available from ProQuest. Accessed 16 January 2004.
Defense and the National Interest Discussion Board. “Will Army Digitization Work? – Mud Soldiers Sound Off,” available from