Sunday, May 7, 2017

Network Centric Warfare

I feel like people have a small view of Network Centric Warfare. I feel like part of this problem is the old-school thought-memes that are "command and control". Even in the Wassenaar debate you see this come up over and over again. They want to ban, not the trojans but the "Command and Control" that generates and controls those trojans.

This is because the people who write the regulations are the same people who wrote the Wikileaks page on network centric warfare. Because in their head, the Internet allows for FASTER command and control. "It's an evolution," they say. "It increases the SPEED of command."

This is entirely wrong. What the internet did - what network centric warfare did - was change the very nature of how combat systems work. Instead of "command and control" you have something very different - you have networks of networks. You have "publish and subscribe", you have "broadcast" you have "direct to the front line from the back-end analysis systems". You have, in a word, emergent and reactive systems.

Ask yourself, what percentage of the sensors do I have to take over to BE the command and control system? What part of how I do C2 is an illusion?

And nowhere is this more true than in the cyber domain. There are two  schools of thought. "It's an evolution of what we have already, be it EW or Psyops or SIGINT or HUMINT or whatever". And the other one: This is a revolution. It's as different as a leaf-cutting ant colony from a centipede. It is night and day. It is the difference between H.R. Gyger and John Audubon. It is like 50 Shades of Grey vs The Fault in Our Stars.

I honestly don't know any way to make this clearer and if you've read this blog (or ever dated me) you are probably sick of me bringing up ants all the time. But no analogy to network centric warfare is more direct than the one of how social insects work.

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