possibility already has been realized in the concept of “netwar” (Arquilla and Ronfeldt, 2001).

Twenty-first century communications technology makes it possible for every battlefield element to be connected with every other battlefield element, including individual warfighters, sensors and weapons, and vehicles and aircraft, manned and unmanned. Such connectivity has been shown to enable real-time situational awareness and a common operational picture of the battlefield. These and other connections to such things as remote artillery or an aerial weapons platform, greatly extend the capabilities of the individual warfighter.

But increased situational awareness alone is likely to be of limited value if nothing else changes in the military command and control structure. For instance, soldiers who are aware of their situation but unable to make decisions using that information are unlikely to be much more effective than soldiers without such situational awareness. On the other hand, the vastly increased amount of battlefield information that is now potentially shareable makes possible radically new forms of organization such as loose networks of highly autonomous soldiers who swarm over promising targets without any centralized authority telling them to do so (Arquilla and Ronfeldt, 2001).

Finding 3-6. With the increasing importance of terrorist networks, information warfare, and other unconventional means of combat, the decisive advantages in 21st century wars may arise not from superior weapons but from superior ways of organizing warfighters.

Developing such new organizational concepts, however, requires more than incremental improvements to existing military doctrine. It demands substantial creativity and invention, applied in this case not to creating new physical devices but rather to new organizational forms. And this invention is greatly helped by a rigorous understanding of organizational possibilities in other kinds of systems—for example, businesses, social networks, and biological systems (Malone et al., 2003; Malone, 2004; Olson et al., 2001).

NETWORK RESEARCH OF SPECIAL INTEREST TO THE MILITARY

Table 3-1 summarizes major challenges identified by both the Army and the committee during the course of its study. It lists research areas and objectives in all categories of military operations and highlights the broad potential of network research to support C4ISR and other advances and develop-

TABLE 3-1 Network Research Areas

Research Area

Key Objective

Time Frame

Commercial Interest

Priority for Army Investment

Modeling, simulating, testing, and prototyping very large networks

Practical deployment tool sets

Mid term

High

High

Command and control of joint/combined networked forces

Networked properties of connected heterogeneous systems

Mid term

Medium

High

Impact of network structure on organizational behavior

Dynamics of networked organizational behavior

Mid term

Medium

High

Security and information assurance of networks

Properties of networks that enhance survival

Near term

High

High

Relationship of network structure to scalability and reliability

Characteristics of robust or dominant networks

Mid term

Medium

Medium

Managing network complexity

Properties of networks that promote simplicity and connectivity

Near term

High

High

Improving shared situational awareness of networked elements

Self-synchronization of networks

Mid term

Medium

High

Enhanced network-centric mission effectiveness

Individual and organizational training designs

Far term

Medium

Medium

Advanced network-based sensor fusion

Impact of control systems theory

Mid term

High

Medium

Hunter-prey relationships

Algorithms and models for adversary behaviors

Mid term

Low

High

Swarming behavior

Self-organizing UAV/UGV; self-healing

Mid term

Low

Medium

Metabolic and gene expression networks

Soldier performance enhancement

Near term

Medium

Medium



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