The Army in the Information Age

  • March 01, 1995
  • LTC Anthony M Coroalles, Gen Gordon R Sullivan

Two earlier monographs in this series by General Gordon R. Sullivan and Colonel James M. Dubik, Land Warfare in the 21st Century and War in the Information Age, provided a general concept of what land warfare might portend in the post-Cold War and post-Information Age environment. This monograph, by General Sullivan and Lieutenant Colonel Anthony M. Coroalles, brings into focus several areas where the future will differ most from the past. They provide insights into three critical areas: the operational environment; the emergence of simultaneity as a unifying concept in Information Age warfare; and, changes that must take place in the planning environment. When history is at a watershed, people, institutions, and nations have three choices. One choice is to live in the past; relishing triumphs, elaborating on myths, and eventually becoming a part of the past. The second choice is to fight change. Indeed, all change is not for the better. In times of uncertainty, like those the Army faces today, individuals, institutions, and nations are susceptible to what can be facile, transitory, and faddish. The Army would do well to recall the "pentomic divisions" plan of 1956. The third alternative is for individuals, institutions and nations to embrace the future with all of its uncertainties. It is better to transform rather than to be transformed by the future. Uncertainty will be the norm as the Army moves into the 21st century. During the Cold War, the Army was ready to fight a particular kind of conflict. Today, when conditions are less certain and the threats more ambiguous, unpredictable, and in a sense more likely to be translated into acts of force to achieve political, economic, or terroristic objectives, the Army must be structured, trained, equipped, and prepared for maximum flexibility. The authors suggest that the challenge today is to determine what array of capabilities may be needed to perform a broader range of requirements and to decide how much of ea