July 1, 2007  

The digital battlefield

The ever-growing access to information up and down the chain of command is changing leadership models. If information means power, then the soldier has never been more empowered. On the other hand, the digital battleground gives commanders huge scope to micromanage from afar with the tactics of the soldier, sailor or airman.

Barry Rosenberg examines whether technology is improving or undercutting war leadership, and whether a more fluid command culture means the end of the traditional “follow me” military mentality.

Lt. Cmdr. Christopher E. Van Avery brings to bear his 21 years of Navy experience to propose revised principles of war better tailored to this networked battlefield. He takes into account not just the changes brought by dramatic leaps in weapons, information and sensor technology, but also the different face of the expanded battlefield, where non-American forces and civilians are an integral part of the information chain.