Accession Number : ADA436205
Title : Network Centric Warfare: Background and Oversight Issues for Congress. CRS Report for Congress
Descriptive Note : Research rept.
Corporate Author : LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
Personal Author(s) : Wilson, Clay
Report Date : 18 Mar 2005
Pagination or Media Count : 43
Abstract : Network Centric Warfare (NCW) is a key component of DoD planning for transformation of the military. NCW relies on computer processing power and networked communications technology to provide a shared awareness of the battle space for U.S. forces. Proponents say that a shared awareness increases synergy for command and control, resulting in superior decision-making, and the ability to coordinate complex military operations over long distances for an overwhelming war-fighting advantage. Congress may be concerned with oversight of the DoD organization and the individual services as they transform through NCW programs that are intended to promote a management style and culture with joint objectives. Oversight may involve a review of service efforts to improve interoperability of computer and communications systems, and also may involve questions from some observers about whether DoD has given adequate attention to possible unintended outcomes resulting from over-reliance on high technology. Updates also may be required on emerging threats that may be directed against increasingly complex military equipment. The background section of this report describes technologies that support NCW, and includes the following: (1) questions about possible vulnerabilities associated with NCW; (2) a description of directed energy weapons and other technologies that could be used as asymmetric countermeasures against NCW systems; (3) descriptions of some key military programs for implementing NCW; (4) a list of other nations with NCW capabilities; and, (5) a description of experiences using NCW systems in recent operations involving joint and coalition forces. The final section raises policy issues for NCW that involve planning, budget, network interoperability, acquisition strategies, offshore outsourcing, technology transfer, asymmetric threats, coalition operations, and U.S. military doctrine.
Descriptors : *DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE , *COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS , *COMPUTER NETWORKS , *MILITARY MODERNIZATION , *TRANSFORMATIONS , MILITARY OPERATIONS , IRAQ , THREATS , TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER , INTEROPERABILITY , VULNERABILITY , SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS , DRONES , MILITARY PROCUREMENT , BANDWIDTH , MILITARY BUDGETS , DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS , AFGHANISTAN , OUTSOURCING
Subject Categories : Computer Systems
Military Forces and Organizations
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE