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WARFARE IN THE INFORMATION AGE.

Introduction.

The appearance of the IT treatment of the information supposed a revolution in the capture, production and transmission of the existing or caught information. Whose possibilities and transcendency are still far from know, even in his scope and his limits. The information generated in a battlefield or an operations theatre of is enormous, ephemeral in diverse times, almost immeasurably and fluid. The latter quality is fundamental for the production of the intelligence. That is the information caught by the units and sensors of all kinds and that is digested or prepared by the specific organs (G2, S2 and agencies of intelligence), to create a sufficient, effective, opportune and constant intelligence. That is used by the «advanced users» or commands in the different levels of military action (tactical, operative and strategic).

Since it could not be otherwise, in view of the brief exposed scheme, the IT industry soon found an enormous area of activity and possibilities in the military field. And the high military commands, often in «ad hoc» prepared meetings and coctails, received from the manager directors and chairmen of the branch corporations, animated, brief and exciting presentations of the enormous performances that might give to their units of all the branches, the designed, elaborated and installed softwares and hardwares by these vanguard technical companies. The battlefield or the operations zone (the area, the enemy and I), known, conveyed and controlled in real time by my men!!!

The Support of the military Information Systems.

It is not the case that these new technologies allow to elaborate a complex and integrated weapon system. This already existed before the information age and the electronic existing advances allowed his creation. For example, the AEGIS defense system for ships against aircraft, warships, missiles and submarines was designed, created and installed for the first time in 1973. It is equiped by destroyers and even frigates (in a simpler model) of the USA and his allied nations. And this way they are called the «shields or defenders of the Fleet». In effect, every «naval group» centred and escorting an aircraft carrier and every «naval combined force of strategic projection», rely on several ships provided with the AEGIS system. This consists of a powerful radar of several megawatts of power, capable of catching and continuing up around 200 potential targets, placed at distances of up to 350 km to the installed system.

The caught information goes to a computer center that reports to a decision center. Which arranges the launches of missiles depending on the mission of the group or naval force and the estimated danger generated for him by the target. The system is installed in front of the armoured control center of the ship. That gives the final permission for the launch of the missiles. These are arranged in rows of vertical silos (habitually, are four with 4 missiles each one) placed in the front cover, in the part that was occupying the conventional artillery. The silos are re-fed from the interior of the ship with other missiles after the launches. The missiles are propeled by solid fuel, which allows that they should be smaller than the land launched. And the adjustment of the system is studied for the destruction of the enemy ballistic missiles.

Resultado de imagen de warfare in information age

The activities that the military men realize in action in front the enemy are numerous, varied and some of them are complex. And all of them demand a sufficient attention from the controls and men. Let us see some of the most significant. Regarding the movement in the ground: to advance, to stop and to move back; so much running as walking, crawling or incorporated, and doing it by jumps or in zig zag. Regarding placing and valueing the environment, hostile or not: to observe, to detect, to process, to decide, to transmit or not the results and to act. Regarding the form of fight (rejection or attack): to hide, to cover and to be protected, to change position, to define well evasive detected targets, to receive the orders of the immediate chief, to attack them with deliberate, rapid, etc. fire, (if it is a question of an infantry). Regarding the communication with his “group” (team, weapon, squad, section): to receive orders and information, to send information and orders, to spread information. And they carry out all this under the uncertainty, the lack of comfort, the tension, the loneliness, even of his companion or buddy, and the fear … The constant and repeated sometimes audio-visual information, that is communicated by the modern digital systems can relieve this physical and psychic load of the soldiers? So to achieve it, would really be of great help for them.

Resultado de imagen de warfare in information age ARE THEY LOOKING, DECIDING OR FIGHTING?

Resultado de imagen de warfare in information age IS IT USEFUL HERE?

To all that, it could join a flood of information, insignificant in this moment for his mission or his immediate action. This can generate an increase of the needs of the attention capacities of the military men. Through the more important senses, the sight and the ear. And to originate a diversion of his effective available attention (if there is), towards external not fundamental or neutral stimuli of the images and the conversations. The system is going to transmit them a clearer and detailed information of the targets, even defining some more ephemeral or veiled. But it will not give them information about the intentions and the mental conditions of the different located enemies and their group. Though the system is served with probabilities, previous experiences, alogarithms and reliable estimations…

A practical Application.

In the new model of fighting, the attacking force would be kept simultaneously dispersed, communicated and informed in real time and looking for and attacking the enemy. It would be the supposed advantages of the swarm and his concentric and simultaneous assault, which would count now with the knowledge of the ground and the enemy, thanks to the multiple sensors and systems and the real, caught and transmitted information (not intelligence) to the units of the force.

Are similar in capacity all the units of the force? Then we are demanding from them that each one acts as a «polyvalent» fraction of the unit, without specializing them. With what they will probably have some specific, quantitatively insufficient capacities. Are specialized the units of the force? Then they will have to rely on the simultaneous concurrence, in the defense and the attack, of several units. That should complement between all the necessary functions of this tasks «group». And if the enemy electromagnetic countermeasures work against the wireless communications and is established a communications «silence»? And if we now do not have the telephony circular network of the unit and do not possess double couriers for the transmission of “parts and orders” to the chief and from the chief?

And if the enemy deploys in the same way as us? So we would come to a general clash of weak individual forces against enemies weak forces individual. As the great units spread out for his fighting form. Clash that would be solved by multiple partial and isolate combats, using the attrition. They would be like the singular combats of champions and leaders, which happened in other times. And would gain those who were finally keeping a major number of valid units. It would be a clash won by pure material wear of means: men, military means and expensive and sophisticated IT material, almost without transcendent application.


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Enrique Alonso nació en La Habana. Tras el establecimiento del régimen comunista se trasladó a España, licenciándose en Ciencias Químicas en la Universidad de Oviedo.

Es titulado por la Universidad Complutense en Química y Tecnología del Petroleo (dos cursos) y en Logística por la Cámara de Comercio de Madrid (un curso). Ha realizado su labor profesional durante más de 30 años en REPSOL y empresas anteriores, absorbidas posteriormente. Su trabajo se centró en la investigación de lubricantes (Centro de Investigación de la calle Embajadores), el área comercial y la logística de lubricantes (unas 100 mil Tm. al año de productos a granel y envasados, con un presupuesto total de unos 1000 millones de ptas).

Ha sido colaborador en la década de los 80, del diario Pueblo y, a través de la agencia EFE, de diversos diarios españoles e hispanoamericanos en temas de política internacional y militares.

Es autor de la novela “Operación Elefante”, publicada en 1982, que trata minuciosa y extensamente de las operaciones y tácticas de las guerrillas y contraguerrillas en la Angola socialista prosoviética de Agostinho Neto, apoyada desde 1975 por tropas cubanas. 

En 2005 publicó en inglés el ensayo “On the Nature of War”, que es una teoría de la guerra basada en el desarrollo y la aplicación práctica de 10 “sistemas operativos”.

Actualmente es colaborador permanente de la revista española War Heat International.

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