Did the Radio Kill Auftragstaktik?

  • September 15, 2015
  • Colonel Heath Niemi

As military leaders will soon possess an almost deistic ability to see the battlefield, approaching remote omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence (O3); strategic and operational commanders will have a better understanding of the common operational picture. The perception of O3 will potentially cause senior leaders to interfere and centrally control their subordinate leaders and elements prohibiting the effective use of mission command. This paper postulates leadership, in an O3 environment, will preclude the full employment of an empowered force within the definition of mission command. Instead, leaders need to find a middle ground between the ability to centralize control and the capacity to resource empowered leaders and teams. As globalization in a volatile international arena requires every technological tool available to allocate limited resources and project the effective use of leadership, the use of advanced technology can enhance the effectiveness of leadership for a globally dispersed organization. The future capability technology brings to leadership highlights the required doctrine, training and appropriate barriers to enable mission command in an environment of perceived godlike visibility of operations.