Network centric warfare: a realistic defense alternative for smaller nations?
McCormick, Gordon H.
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This thesis establishes an analytical framework for identifying and discussing strategic factors considered important when implementing NCW as a new warfighting concept for the information age. Although the findings have a broad application, focus has been on a Norwegian NCW implementation. A key question is if the emerging NCW concept is a feasible defense alternative for smaller nations. Central to the study are factors found in the strategic environment, such as Norway's strategic freedom of maneuver, affiliation with NATO, the impact of national interests, economic and technological assumptions, and the cultural premises that underlie the power of information. The changing features in the nature of conflict and in future potential opponents will also influence NCW mission challenges, opportunities and constraints. A particularly important mission challenge is the neglected military view of low-intensity conflicts as "worthy" military missions as well as the sociological impact on networked actors and opponents, as conditioned by new trends in the information age. A key finding is that NCW, which also takes into consideration the impact of other strategic factors discussed in this thesis, has the potential to rise to the many challenges and achieve many of the objectives currently "floating" in existing military transformation strategies.
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