NET-WAR QUESTIONED

In recent years, the priests of the Pentagon have developed a new orthodoxy: network-centric warfare. That's the notion that every infantryman, every pilot, every drone and every general will share everything they see and hear over an Internet for combat. It's become the unquestionable centerpiece of the U.S. military's vision for its future.On the eve of Gulf War II, Defense Tech highlighted a couple of heretics, who weren't sure network-centric fighting was such a great idea. Now, Aviation Week reports, more of these thinkers are emerging.Yale professor Charles Perrow notes that sharing information at all levels could easily lead to generals micromanaging battles."It isn't difficult to envision the fog of war being replaced by the fog of systems," he writes.Defense analysts Loren Thompson, with the Lexington Institute, says both the U.S. and her adversaries will have access to Internet technology."This means enemy forces will be able to use it themselves, and they will understand how the U.S. employment of networks can be used against U.S. forces."Network-centric warfare proponents seem oblivious to the vulnerabilities they themselves might create, he adds. The Navy, for example, isn't requiring that its systems withstand an electromagnetic pulse."We are acting like the danger doesn't exist at the same time we are pursuing similar [anti-electronics] weapons," Thompson told Aviation Week.

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