One of the biggest concerns about high-tech, so-called "network-centric" warfare was that it would lure commanders into conducting push-button wars -- directing action from their wired hub in the rear, while their troops were fighting in the front."In Lebanon, Israels first digitized ground war," Defense News' Barbara Opall-Rome reports, those fears appear to have been realized. "After-action probes found egregious cases where commanders relied on [sensor feeds] instead of moving forward to assess critical points in the evolving battle."
This war underscored the limitations of plasma, especially when it is accorded disproportionate priority over training and discipline, said Matan Vilnai, a retired major general and former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) deputy chief of staff, now a prominent member of Israels Labor Party.In post-Lebanon War Israel, plasma has become derisive shorthand for the virtual command and control provided through networked operations...Examples of such dangers were found in the wartime functioning of two critical divisions, where both brigadier generals were assailed for lack of hands-on contact with forces under their command.In the case of IDF 162 Division, the commander managed the entire war from deep inside home territory, venturing only twice and for very brief periods beyond the Lebanese border. Whether by sheer misfortune or as a direct result of the hands-off command style, the 162 Divisions 401 Armored Brigade and Nahal Infantry Brigade were involved in one of the wars biggest blunders, which claimed the lives of 12 Israeli soldiers.