The Influence of Future Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (C4) on Doctrine and the Operational Commander's Decision-Making ProcessFuture C4 systems will alter the traditional balance between force and information, having a profound influence on doctrine and the operational commander's decision making process. The Joint Staff's future vision of C4 is conceptualized in 'C4I for the Warrior' which envisions a joint C4I architecture providing timely sensor to shoot information direct to the warfighter. C4 system must manage and filter an overwhelming amount of information; deal with interoperability issues; overcome technological limitations; meet emerging security requirements; and protect against 'Information Warfare.' Severe budget constraints necessitate unified control of C4 systems under singular leadership for the common good of all the services. In addition, acquisition policy and procedures must be revamped to allow new technologies to be fielded quickly; and the commercial marketplace will become the preferred starting point for modernization. Flatter command structures are recommended in this environment where information is available instantaneously. New responsibilities for decision making at lower levels are created. Commanders will have to strike a balance between exerting greater control and allowing subordinates enough flexibility to maintain initiative. Clearly, the commander's intent remains the most important tool in striking this balance.
Mayer, Michael G. (Naval War Coll. Newport, RI United States)