FIGURE 3.1 The key information technologies.

effectively without it. Given the naval forces' unique mission of force projection from the sea, they face unique challenges in the sphere of information dominance. Even these unique challenges, however, must be addressed within the context of interoperability with other Services and the forces of other nations.

Definition of Information Technologies

The technologies included under the heading of information are vast and strongly interrelated. Many information technologies feed other technologies and at the same time are dependent on the ones they feed. Because these interrelationships are so complex, it is difficult to organize the relevant technologies into some simple grouping with straightforward relationships to one another. Therefore, the following description should not be considered as a universal truth, but simply as one organizational perspective. Broadly speaking, information technology can be thought of as the underlying capability of computation and connectivity, and their interface with human operators, to apply reasoning power and distributed knowledge to various types of problem solving. Figure 3.2 illustrates the relationships of these elements. The first (inner)-level foundation is the computational hardware and the connectivity. The succeeding levels get at the raw physical capabilities of computation and communication through software. The third layer is that of intelligent systems combined with planning and decision aids and then the abilities of these systems to form effective partnerships with humans. These layers together provide cognitive support for distributed collaboration, which is in the outermost layer. The issues of offensive and defensive information warfare, illustrated in Figure 3.2 as bugs in the system, ultimately pervade the entire set of technologies as they work together to provide a knowledge-rich environment for the warfighter.

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