and controlling these forces. This arrangement is often referred to as a command, control, and communications (C3) system as it embodies functional capabilities that provide tactical pictures of the battle space and communications connectivity. At the center of this system is a complete, accurate, and timely information set on which the commander and his staff base their decisions.

It is easy to see that such functions extend to virtually all echelons of command, from the National Command Authority (NCA) and commander-in-chief (theater and functional) levels down to the individual fighting unit. The availability of timely, accurate, and complete information on all aspects of the projected battle space is a key element in the success of the commander's mission. Information, then, can be considered to be a critical driver of warfare and will significantly influence how warfare will be conducted. Information warfare (IW) has recently become an important element of Department of Defense (DOD) and Navy Department planning and is generally defined as those actions taken to protect one's own information systems and to attack one's adversary information systems. Thus, the concepts of C3 and IW are complementary but separate and distinct. C3 develops and uses tactical information to execute missions; IW protects friendly information while offering tactical advantage by attacking and/or exploiting the enemy's information systems.


Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John M. Shalikashvili, USA, in his Joint Vision 2010 of future warfighting,1 emphasizes four key operational concepts that embody improved intelligence and command and control: (1) dominant maneuver, (2) precision engagement, (3) full-dimensional protection, and (4) focused logistics.

  • Dominant maneuver embodies the multidimensional application of information, engagement, and mobility capabilities to position and employ widely dispersed joint air, land, and sea forces to control the battle space and attack critical enemy locations in a sustained and synchronized manner.

  • Precision engagement enables naval forces to locate and identify the target quickly and accurately, employ sufficiently lethal weapons to nullify the target, determine the impact of that action through battle damage assessment (BDA), and reengage the target as necessary.

  • Full-dimensional protection requires control of the battle space by providing multilayered defenses against all types of enemy threat capabilities.


Shalikashvili, John, GEN, USA. 1996. Joint Vision 2010, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C.

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