Network-Centric Warfare: How Navies Learned to Fight Smarter Through Three World Wars
Over the past decade, the United States has moved toward a new style of warfare, called network centric, that uses an almost real-time, shared picture of a military situation as the basis for operations. To explain what network-centric warfare is and how it works, defense analyst Norman Friedman uses specific historical examples of actual combat rather than the abstractions common to other books on the subject. He argues that navies invented this style of warfare and that twentieth-century wars, culminating in the Cold War, show how networked warfare worked and did not work and illustrate what net-on-net warfare means. The book builds on Friedman s personal experience in an early application of network-centric warfare that developed the method of targeting the Tomahawk anti-ship missile.To give readers a realistic feeling for what the new style of warfare offers and what is needed to make it work, the book concentrates on the tactical picture, not the communications network itself. Friedman s focus on what the warriors really want and need makes it possible to evaluate the various contributions to a network-centric system. Without such a focus, Friedman notes, the needs of networked warfare reduce simply to the desire for more and more information, delivered at greater and greater speeds. The information he provides is valuable to all the services, and students of history will appreciate the light it sheds on new ways of understanding old conflicts.