War in the Information Age

  • June 01, 1994
  • COL James M Dubik, Gen Gordon R Sullivan

We are beginning to realize the emergence of a new age--the information age. On the one hand, the full dimensions of this new age, if indeed it is such, are unknown. On the other hand, the authors argue that enough is known to conclude that the conduct of war in the future will be profoundly different. Paradoxically, however, they claim that the nature of war will remain basically the same. In this monograph, General Sullivan and Colonel Dubik examine that paradox and draw some inferences from it. This monograph explains the governing concepts of the industrial age and how they affected the concept of war. Then it describes the concepts emerging to govern the information age and suggests ways in which these concepts may affect the conduct of war. Finally, the monograph discusses those steps that the Army is taking to position itself to exploit what are becoming the dominant military requirements of the information age: speed and precision. Specifically, the authors discuss the ways in which the Army has changed its strategic systems over the past several years so that the Army operational and tactical forces will be able to "see" a situation, decide, adapt, and act faster and more precisely than their opponent. These changes will give strategic planners, and operational and tactical commanders, a new set of information age tools to use in theater and on the battlefield. The net result: more flexibility, more versatility, faster decision making, and broader scope of weapons systems at their immediate disposal.