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Network-centric Warfare: Dead or Alive?

One of the guiding principles for the defense community has been network-centric warfare. Most, if not all, weapon systems developed in the last decade have been evaluated by this standardnetwork centric warfare.

Recently, the Department of Defense announced the closing of Networking and Information Integration (NII), an office closely associated with network-centric warfare. With the past elimination of Future Combat Systems, the Office of Force Transformation and other high-profile endeavors, some are wondering if the emphasis on network-centric warfare is waning.  Dr. Loren Thompson, in his The Twilight Of Network-Centric Warfare article, went as far as to say “…network-centric warfare is an idea whose time has passed.”

If true, this would have enormous implications for those tasked with getting the best possible technologies to warfighters.  The abandonment of this established doctrine of network-centric warfare would introduce a new variable in the already difficult task of providing combat systems. Has the idea that launched a thousand PowerPoint presentations really been discarded?

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