U.S. armed forces are dependent on a complex system of interwoven networks—e.g., transportation, telecommunications, financial—for all of their activities, and will be more so as network-centric warfare evolves. Knowing their vulnerabilities is essential.
The Navy and the Department of Defense are in the midst of fundamental changes in mission, force structure, tactics, and doctrine—all driven by the services' shift from platform-centric warfare to network-centric warfare. Writing in the January 1998 Proceedings, former Director for Space, Information Warfare, Command and Control Vice Admiral Art Cebrowski and John Garstka, a technical advisor for the Joint Chiefs of Staff Directorate for C4 systems, identified a logical model for this network-centric approach. They depict a high-performance information grid that provides a backplane for communications and processing and enables the operational sensor and engagement grids. This model, which addresses the war fighters' reliance on the unprecedented flow and processing of timely, reliable information, is too narrow.