Accession Number : ADA311885

Title :   Reexamining the Principle of Surprise in 21st Century Warfare.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT

Personal Author(s) : Baker, Virginia E.

PDF Url : ADA311885

Report Date : 16 JUN 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 22

Abstract : The U.S. military has undergone profound changes over the past decades, however the basic principles of warfighting, developed in the late 1900's, remain essentially unchanged. Nevertheless, as we continually revise doctrine and the way we fight wars, particularly in the approaching 21st Century, it is important to review the principles of war in the context of the current military environment. Probably the most affected by the technological and institutional changes in the military is the principle of surprise. Surprise, a vital force multiplier in any military operation, can achieve quick, decisive victory in battle. Therefore its employment will continue to be effective in 21st Century warfare; however commanders must consider the impact of changes in technology and intelligence on achieving surprise; and how secrecy, another vital component of surprise, will be more difficult to maintain in the future. The technological advantages of the United States is diminishing due to technology exchanges, commercial availability of military systems, and gray market activities. Good intelligence analysis is becoming more difficult to achieve in a complex real-time, multidiscipline collection environment. Massive infusions of information increase the fog and friction of war and commanders must quickly and accurately assess intelligence and take risks accordingly. Information warfare provides increased opportunity to deceive through disinformation further complicating the commander's planning. Secrecy is more problematic in an open society with more media access and information exchanges with coalition partners. Surprise, dependent on technological superiority, secrecy and good intelligence, is nevertheless still a viable means of winning wars through quick, decisive operations.

Descriptors :   *OPERATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS, *MILITARY APPLICATIONS, *MILITARY MODERNIZATION, *MILITARY PLANNING, MILITARY INTELLIGENCE, MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES), MILITARY OPERATIONS, WARFARE, NATIONAL SECURITY, MARKET RESEARCH, INFORMATION EXCHANGE, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, MILITARY DOCTRINE, MODIFICATION, MILITARY COMMANDERS.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE