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VADM A. K. CEBROWSKI
PRESIDENT, NAVAL WAR COLLEGE 
DIRECTOR, NAVY DOCTRINE COMMAND
STATEMENT BEFORE THE 
HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE
SUBCOMMITTEES ON RESERCH AND DEVELOPMENT
 AND PROCUREMENT
HEARING ON
NETWORK-CENTRIC WARFARE AND INFORMATION SUPERIORITY

23 FEB 99

Mr. Chairman, and distinguished members of the Committee.  Thank 
you for the honor and privilege of appearing before you today on 
the important subject of Information Superiority.  I will 
outline for you very briefly from a warfare perspective the 
concepts of Network Centric Warfare and Information Superiority 
and then identify where the significant payoffs are on the 
battlefield and illustrate these with the results of Navy's 
Fleet Battle Experiment Program.  

At a time when American society is benefiting broadly from it's 
great leadership position in information technology and 
associated changes in organizations and processes, it is 
appropriate to ask how the military is benefiting from this 
position of advantage.  Network Centric Warfare is the military 
response to the Information Age.  It is based on the principles 
of information generation, a high degree of access, shared 
awareness and speed.  First and foremost, it is dominated by 
behavioral components more than technology, just as you see in 
the marketplace.  A well-informed public with access to 
information and the means to take advantage of that access 
organizes itself for efficiency and higher performance according 
to marketplace rules.  So, too, Network Centric Warfare involves 
a well-informed force organized around unity of effort and 
commander's intent.  This is not about more information or more 
data; rather, it is about how one converts that information and 
data into actionable knowledge.  Network Centric Warfare derives 
its power from the networking of well-informed but 
geographically dispersed forces.  The enabling elements are a 
high-performance information capability, access to all 
appropriate information sources, weapons reach and maneuver with 
speed of response, value-adding command and control processes - 
to include high speed automated assignment of resources to need 
- and integrated sensors closely coupled in time to shooters and 
command and control processes.  Network Centric Warfare is 
applicable to all levels of warfare and contributes to the 
coalescence, or high-speed compression, of the strategic, 
operational and tactical levels of war.  It is transparent to 
mission, force size and composition, and geography. Network 
Centric Warfare allows us to move from an input-oriented, 
attrition-based approach to warfare, to output-oriented effects-
based warfare.  In this construct, forces can organize and 
synchronize from the bottom up, much as the market does.  Combat 
is changed from a step function to a high-speed continuum.  New 
strategies are enabled and enemy responses are locked out.  This 
is not theory; we see these effects daily in business and in 
other public institutions, and we have seen the antecedents in 
warfare for nearly a century.  The difference is that now we 
have the capability to bring it to fruition as the organizing 
principle for modern warfare. The great strength of technology, 
which we have in weapons range and precision, is realized only 
when coupled with a superior information position.  A strong 
caution is that we should never presume that superior technology 
apart from skilled and trained warriors can lead to victory.

Information superiority results when information relevance 
approaches 100 percent, accuracy approaches 100 percent, and 
timeliness approaches 100 percent at a rate faster than for our 
adversaries.  Of course, 100 percent can never be achieved, but 
it need not.  Information superiority is a relative measure.  In 
the business world, much that is said about knowledge management 
is of value to the military, but there are distinct differences.  
For businesses, operational execution is the rapid exploitation 
of market opportunities.  For the military, operational 
execution is the rapid application of force, both strike and 
maneuver, and the exploitation of battlefield opportunities.  
For both, the key is information superiority . . . knowing more 
things which are relevant, knowing them faster and being able to 
convert that knowledge into execution faster than the adversary.  
The result is the phenomenon known as "speed of command."   This 
is the process by which a superior information position is 
turned into a competitive advantage.  It is characterized by the 
decisive altering of initial conditions, the development of high 
rates of change and locking in success while locking out 
alternative enemy strategies.  The phenomenon sees all elements 
of the operating situation as parts of a complex adaptive 
ecosystem and achieves profound effect through the impact of 
closely coupled events.   The critical metric is the difference 
between one's own knowledge and that of the adversary.  The 
difference then between business and the military is that the 
military must be allowed to attack and destroy their adversary's 
knowledge base and knowledge processes.  Thus, we in the 
military have the added requirement for active knowledge 
destruction and active knowledge protection.  

Next, I will identify some areas where we have significant early 
payoff from this approach.  The information age can be 
characterized by two words, access and speed.  This is the age 
where access to information and technologies is highly valued 
and growing daily.  Doctrinal, organizational and architectural 
decisions which reduce or deny information access to any element 
of the force deny, in effect, the great power of the American 
advantage in information technology.  Ask any successful 
businessman.  He will tell you that when his competition has 
access to the same information and the same technologies, the 
only way to differentiate himself and posture for a sustained 
leadership position is with speed and agility: organizational 
agility, doctrinal agility, the ability to assimilate 
technologies at high speed, and the ability to execute faster 
than the competition.  The military is no different in this 
regard.  Those factors which act against speed must, therefore, 
be reduced or limited.  The graphic below illustrates the point.  
The information displayed is for a very high quality weapon 
system, which has a very high probability of kill against moving 
targets at short range (less than ten miles).  While performance 
deteriorates as range to the moving target increases, 
Probability of Hit (PH) is still quite high, about 0.6, so long 
as command control (C2)  delay time is zero.  But, as command 
and control time increases, performance falls off sharply to the 
point that when delay time is 13 minutes or more, performance 
(PH) is so low that the weapon has virtually no utility.  In 
short, if command and control delay is this long, buying the 
weapon makes little sense.   Yet, these long delay times are 
common in current practice.  Part of this delay may be 
attributed to limited or slow access to the necessary 
information.  As range to target increases, performance falls in 
general because the target is moving and therefore accuracy 
errors are introduced.  But note that the penalty from command 
and control delay time is far greater than errors in accuracy.  
This indicates the first and most fruitful area for improved 
performance at the tactical level for these kinds of weapons.  
The point is that information superiority has value only when 
translated into timely action.  

The second most fruitful area is the pursuit of new classes of 
sensors and a highly responsive mode of control of those 
sensors.  A maneuver force consists not just of shooters but 
also of sensors and sensor platforms as well as a command and 
control capability.  Without any of these three elements we 
cease to have a maneuver force.   The current focus on long 
range weapons can lead to frustration if not accompanied by an 
appropriate sensor capability: sensor capability under the 
tactical control of the maneuver force commander.  We already 
have many weapons in the inventory which outrange our ability to 
employ them.  While we control the range of our weapons, 
adversaries can control the range of our sensors.  This is 
called engagement envelope management.  War is a fully two-sided 
game, and potential adversaries will respond.  Over time, our 
focus on long-range precision strike will result in increased 
expenditures by other nations on cover, deception, stealth, and 
mobility.  This means we must be prepared to maneuver sensors 
close in, and be prepared to respond on very tight timelines.  
Thus, over time we should expect to have to continually 
rebalance the force.  

This brings me to the last point.  All of the service 
experimentation programs focus on leveraging a superior 
information position to achieve the promise of Network Centric 
Warfare.  Navy Fleet Battle Experiment "Delta" illustrates these 
points.  Fleet Battle Experiment Delta was conducted in October 
in conjunction with exercise FOAL EAGLE '98, an annual joint and 
combined exercise sponsored by Combined Forces Command, Korea.  
The experiment used both real and simulated forces.  The focus 
of the exercise was first, on countering a North Korean 
artillery and rocket attack on Seoul and other allied positions; 
second, countering North Korean special operation forces, and, 
third, improving the joint theater air and missile defense.  The 
first two of these were highly successful in that they 
illustrated the power of a high level of shared awareness by 
linking Army and Navy sensors and shooters.  Timelines were 
dramatically shortened with both operational and strategic 
impact.  For example, by simultaneously passing Navy sensor 
information directly to Army helicopter units as well as to 
higher command echelons, the tactical forces were able to 
synchronize their efforts from the bottom up in dealing with 
this seemingly intractable problem of countering hundreds of 
North Korean special operations force boats on timelines not 
thought possible.  Post exercise analysis showed that unengaged 
enemy units ("leakers") were reduced by a factor of 10, while 
simultaneously realizing 15 percent reduction in forces required 
to counter the threat.  The result was that forces otherwise 
held in reserve could be reassigned earlier. When reduced to 
these elementary terms it sounds so simple, but it had never 
been done before and the impact was profound.  This seems to 
characterize all great advances.  

Two quick points: if information superiority is so important, 
should one single person or command be made responsible for it?  
Absolutely not.  While one could argue for the efficiency, 
speed, and security of a centralized information system, such as 
a corporate Intranet, the centralized control of information 
itself is a folly which will subvert the great advantage that 
America has in information technology and processes.  The power 
of information is derived from access and speed, not from 
control and management.  Second, perhaps the most important help 
which this committee could provide is to encourage the Services' 
experimentation programs.  All of these experiments have a high 
component of information superiority, and all spawn innovation 
from the bottom up.  New knowledge is not created by the 
exercise of old doctrine, but through continuous experimentation 
at all levels.  At the highest level, I look to USACOM's Joint 
Experimentation program to help with interoperability issues as 
a main effort.  Again, no single person should be seen as 
responsible for all experimentation and innovation.  That would 
foreclose the rich sources of ideas, which are available 
throughout the department, at all levels.  In Navy we say that 
innovation is a warfighting skill, and experiments are exercises 
in innovation.  I doubt that any activity can have a greater 
long term benefit to the force.

Again, thank you for this opportunity to discuss this important 
issue with you.  I am pleased to take your questions. 

                              -USN-