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Is more necessarily better?

advantages and disadvantages of the explosion of information technologies for political and military preparedness

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Is more necessarily better?

advantages and disadvantages of the explosion of information technologies for political and military preparedness

Rechten:

Samenvatting

It is widely accepted that the application of new information technologies has a significant impact on today's warfare and crisis management and that this impact will only grow in the near future. This article examines several advantages and disadvantages of these technological developments with regard to one of the key elements of warfare and crisis management: i.e., the importance of being as prepared as possible, anticipating attempts of adversaries to achive a successfull surprise attack. To what extent and in what respect does the application of modern information technologies form a blessing for an actor's state of readiness during encounters with dangers like an enemy attack or a terrorist act? To what extent will it help to increase the so-called warning span and the readiness gap? Based on insights from empirical studies that have been conducted during the past four decades within various scientific disciplines, the conclusion will be drawn that the introduction of information technologies form at least a mixed blessing. In many ways the introduction of new information technologies will appear to have a 'Janus head'; on the one hand it will help the potential defender to acquire much more current, up-to-date, unbiased intelligence. Upwards, downward and horizontal dissemination of intelligence throughout all segments of C4I systems and decision-cycles can - at least technically- become more rapid than ever. On the other hand, one must at least be consiously aware of many dangerous disadvantages and cognitive traps as well. Besides significantly increasing a defender's capacities to acquire, analyze, re-check and disseminate all sorts of intelligence about threatening patterns, capabilities and intentions, it will also significantly increase the amount of noise. Furthermore, it may invite a dominant tendency towards micro-management by many military and political leaders, as well as a structural false sense of situational awareness and control. In most situations, it is likely to increase and accelerate many cognitive, psychological and organizational traps that tend to be quite common in past experiences with suprise attacks.


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OrganisatieNederlandse Defensie Academie
OpleidingFaculteit Militaire Wetenschappen
Jaar1999
TypeBoekdeel
TaalEngels

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