By Robert Leonhard, Robert Scales
Probably the most cogent and revered strategic theorists in latest army sounds the alarm: we haven't any manageable doctrine for tomorrow's battle.
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Extra info for The Principles of War for the Information Age
Roger Trinquier, Modern Warfare, 1961 1: The Mutation of War Don’t worry, boys, you’ll be able to go over the top with a walking stick. Not even a rat will have survived. —General Rawlinson to British troops before the Battle of the Somme We live in an age of proliferating information and shrinking sense. —Jean Baudrillard This is the very limit of endurance … —British soldier during the Battle of the Somme On 1 July 1916, Gen. Douglas Haig ordered two British armies out of their trenches and into the teeth of a prepared German defense near the Somme River.
But the truly revolutionary aspect of media coverage is the speed with which journalists can transmit details of military operations. Whereas in the past, the media could reveal only recent operations, in the Information Age, they can report current activities as well. If security concerns were a source of media-military friction in the past, this new capability only exacerbates the problem. Someone once suggested that the basis for the conflict between the military and the media is a turf war: Both institutions claim to be the protector of [American] freedom.
Doctrinal thinking eventually caught up with the technological state of the art, but not until the Battles of the Somme, the Aisne, Ypres, and others destroyed a generation of European men. Was this a justifiable cost? Can knowledge of warfare progress only through the effusion of blood and the loss of so many lives? Is it not the duty and moral obligation of military leaders to think about war and adjust military doctrines in anticipation of such dramatic changes? If the military profession cannot answer these questions, then it ceases to be an art, a science, and a legitimate profession.
The Principles of War for the Information Age by Robert Leonhard, Robert Scales