Accession Number : ADA328129

Title :   Information As an Operational Factor.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI

Personal Author(s) : Leugers, Jerry W.

PDF Url : ADA328129

Report Date : MAY 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 27

Abstract : The student of operational art would say that to achieve the freedom to act the operational commander must properly balance time, space and forces - the classic operational factors. But these factors alone do not adequately address all the issues in achieving strategic and operational objectives. This paper will not challenge the validity of time, space and forces as operational factors but will focus on the examination of information as a separate operational factor. Through identification of major key elements of the operational factor, information: information infrastructure, information warfare, intelligence, the media and adversary knowledge, analysis will be presented on how these elements influence a commander's freedom to act. Evolving doctrine, classic writings and historic examples will be cited to support exploration of the central thesis. Additionally, a short analogy will be utilized to relate operational factor requirements of a surgeon to that of an operational commander. The conclusion reached in this paper is that information is indeed an operational factor. With the complete assimilation of data provided by the operational factor, information, the commander will be empowered by a clear perception of the situation and will possess the essential knowledge to support appropriate and timely application of the proper mix and quantity of force. On the other hand, failing to appreciate information as an operational factor may lead the commander to a fallacious belief that overwhelming conventional means are required to subdue an adversary resulting in a potentially tragic asymmetric application of force. This failing may result in inordinately protracted conflicts and a potential for unnecessary risk and loss of life; two conditions which the American people will not accept.

Descriptors :   *MILITARY OPERATIONS, *MILITARY ART, MILITARY INTELLIGENCE, MILITARY HISTORY, MILITARY STRATEGY, DECISION MAKING, SKILLS, STRATEGIC ANALYSIS, MILITARY DOCTRINE, OPERATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS, MEDIA, TACTICAL ANALYSIS, TIMELINESS, MILITARY COMMANDERS, PERCEPTION, AWARENESS, INFRASTRUCTURE.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE