Evolutionary Technology in the Current Revolution in Military Affairs: The Army Tactical Command and Control System

  • March 01, 1998
  • Ms. Elizabeth A. Stanley

Elizabeth A. Stanley analyzes developments in the Army Tactical Command and Control System as a vehicle for assessing the U.S. Army's strategy for exploiting information age technologies. Her analysis will be of great value to those interested in several dimensions of military modernization, in particular whether we are amid a revolution in military affairs (RMA) or something less profound. If it is an RMA, then how well are we in the Army seizing the opportunities it presents? Ms. Stanley sees Force XXI more as the latest phase in a decades-long process than a new beginning. She points out, for instance, that despite the Force XXI initiatives inspired by former Army Chief of Staff Gordon R. Sullivan, which seem to be coming to fruition, the Army has not altered its core tasks nor displaced any of its combat platforms. Changes largely have been marginal, revolving around the leveraging of technologies into existing systems. The deeper message here is that technological change, evolutionary and revolutionary, does not just happen. It requires the vision of leadership, corporate acceptance, and managerial genius to guide it to effective implementation. The strength of the Army is that it has become the world's finest land force by openly discussing not only its vision for the future, but also the processes by which it has gotten to where it is today and where it intends to be tomorrow.