Organizing the fight technological determinants of coalition command and control and combat operations
Sine, Jack L.
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Despite the political impetus for greater multilateralism in international military operations, recent coalitions including U.S. forces reflect a trend toward increasing U.S. dominance and decreasing allied participation. As the United States continues to invest in its military with research, development and acquisition budgets at least double that of any other nation, it fields technologies so advanced with respect to its allies as to leave them incompatible for combined operations. Recent coalition operations suggest that there is a close relationship between technological asymmetries created by partner contributions and the structures formed as the coalition assembles. Using Desert Storm and Operation Allied Force as case studies, this thesis identifies a systemic relationship between technological advantage and coalition dominance. As a coalition seeks to reduce aggregate risk, it relies on technologies that offer the greatest effectiveness. This reliance causes the coalition to divert combat burden to the technologically dominant partner which, in turn, imposes its operational culture. This thesis concludes that the technological transformation currently underway in the U.S. Department of Defense conflicts with U.S. political initiatives to promote greater multilateralism in combat operations by forcing allies to rely on U.S. technologies thereby creating more unilateral operations.
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