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[] Krieg im Infozeitalter,

Ein Artikel der Washington Post zur Umstrukturierung des 
amerikanischen Milit=E4rs Richtung informationsgest=FCtzte 

1's and 0's Replacing Bullets in U.S. Arsenal 
Success in Afghanistan Propels Shift to Equipping Forces With 
Digital Arms 

By Vernon Loeb and Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, February 2, 2002; Page A01 

FORT LEWIS, Wash. -- Out on an Army firing range, in a 
conversation punctuated by machine-gun bursts, Staff Sgt. Michael 
Land describes how he and his
soldiers are preparing to engage and destroy the enemy using an 
even deadlier weapon: digital information.

The most obvious difference between his unit -- a new rapid-
deployment infantry brigade -- and conventional ones isn't that their 
armored vehicles are propelled by
wheels instead of tank tracks. Rather, Land said, it "is all the 
information we're being given" by computers that pull in data from 
satellites, drone aircraft and
intelligence analysts far from the front lines.

When even the infantry -- long characterized as "grunts" and "mud 
soldiers" -- is focused on moving digits, it is clear a major shift is 
underway in the way the U.S.
military fights. What the Afghanistan conflict has brought home to 
the armed forces is how much the new way of war is built around an 
unprecedented dependence
on information.

In Afghanistan, the Pentagon has relied on a global umbrella of new 
information systems, ranging from satellites far overhead to 
surveillance drones circling the
battlefield to Special Forces troops with laser designators on the 
ground, to find targets, transmit information about them and then 
attack. Just as important was a
communications network that permitted gigabytes of information to 
rocket from Afghanistan to U.S. commanders in Saudi Arabia, on 
ships at sea and even as far as
Tampa, where the man responsible for the campaign, Gen. Tommy 
R. Franks, spent most of the war at Central Command headquarters.

The military's new dependence on information systems was driven 
home Thursday by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in a 
speech aimed at refocusing the
Pentagon's efforts to change the military to better counter the threats 
of the 21st century. In robust defense of President Bush's proposed 
$48 billion increase in
military spending next year, Rumsfeld called for more funding for 
intelligence and more attention to unpiloted aircraft and other 
sophisticated reconnaissance systems.

"We need to find new ways to deter new adversaries," Rumsfeld 
said. "We need to make the leap into the information age, which is 
the critical foundation of our
transformation efforts."

To be sure, the U.S. military -- despite all its technological prowess -
- has yet to find Osama bin Laden. But the military's success in 
routing the Taliban regime that
sheltered the al Qaeda leader has emboldened those at the 
Pentagon who favor reshaping the armed forces around more 
sophisticated information and weapons

The Bush administration came into office vowing to make major 
changes in the structure of the military by eliminating some of the 
large, hulking forces designed for
fighting a ground war in Europe and replacing them with smaller, 
more flexible units capable of being deployed on short notice to 
anywhere on the globe.

The initiative stalled last summer. Rumsfeld ordered dozens of 
studies, which led to months of contentious reviews but ultimately 
produced no major changes in the
size and shape of the military. By Sept. 10, the widespread view in 
the Pentagon was that defense reform was mired in bureaucratic 
infighting and doomed to fail.

All that changed when terrorists piloted hijacked airliners into the 
World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing more than 3,100. The 
attack and the war on
terrorism sparked an outpouring of support for the military on Capitol 

One problem Rumsfeld confronted last year was that the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff feared he would pay for his priorities by cutting back 
spending on their priorities, such
as weapons and the number of active-duty troops. But the new 
defense budget to be unveiled Monday contains almost $380 billion, 
Pentagon officials say, and
should be enough to pay for almost everyone's priorities.

With more than a billion dollars a day available, said William 
Schneider Jr., head of the Defense Science Board and a confidant 
of Rumsfeld, the course of reform
should flow much more smoothly. "The environment is much more 
positive now," he said.

This shift has huge implications for the future shape and 
organization of the large parts of the military. The part of the Army 
that is built around tanks and artillery
pieces faces renewed questions about relevancy. The Air Force, 
having heavily used long-range bombers in the Afghan war, may be 
pressed to explain why it isn't
building new bombers and instead is buying more short-range 
fighters. Across the board, the ability to move information rapidly is 
radically reducing the number of
troops and aircraft the military needs to deploy to fight.

Bandwidth, Not Bombs

The early success of the Afghan war, in which long-range bombers 
were directed to targets by handfuls of U.S. Special Forces spotters 
on the ground, confirmed
what a lot of people already suspected, said Edward C. "Pete" 
Aldridge Jr., undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology 
and logistics. "In the war itself,
what has changed is a real strong appreciation of the value of ISR 
[intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] and the real-time 
value of being able to target
rapidly," Aldridge said.

There is talk at the Pentagon that the computer and other 
information systems may elbow aside weaponry as the central 
component in war. Ask a general or admiral
for thoughts about the Afghan campaign and they are more likely to 
talk about "bandwidth" than bombs. In the air, on land and at sea, 
the American approach to
combat increasingly focuses on how to get information, move it and 
act on it quickly.

Indeed, retired Navy Vice Adm. Arthur K. Cebrowski, director of the 
new Office of Force Transformation, said the overarching change 
occurring in the military is a
transition from the Industrial Age to the Information Age.

It used to be that mass meant military strength. Now, in an age of 
24-hour battlefield surveillance and instantaneous targeting, mass 
just makes a military unit easier to
find and hit.

"There is no doubt about it -- that is the fundamental transition, and 
all other elements of transformation are subordinate to it," Cebrowski 

The increasing reliance on precision bombs means fewer bombers 
are needed. But it also requires more information about the location 
of their targets. All told, the
Air Force has operated fewer than two dozen bombers in the Afghan 
war, said Air Force Secretary James G. Roche. "You don't need so 
many bombers, because
they carry so many bombs and each one is so accurate," he said.

The ability to gather information remotely and transmit it instantly 
around the world means fewer troops need to be deployed and that 
military staffs and experts can
operate in a headquarters thousands of miles away. That means the 
United States can wage war less obtrusively. The Pentagon has 
deployed just a few thousand
troops at bases in Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and about 
4,000 troops in Afghanistan.

Pentagon officials said Rumsfeld's approach to his transformation 
agenda will be different than the contentious path he took last year. 
Instead of raising the prospect
of radical surgery on the military, they said, the emphasis will be on 
continuous but gradual change.

"The way you need to do it is incrementally," Schneider said. "That's 
much more the way the commercial sector does it."

Drones Here to Stay

In the first half of January, an official "Lessons Learned" panel 
traveled to Afghanistan to figure out what in the U.S. arsenal 
worked, what did not, and why. Those
results are still being compiled, but officials said some lessons 
already have emerged.

The star in the air campaign has been the lethal drone aircraft, or 
Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV), as the military calls it. 
More than any other innovation,
the use of a Predator reconnaissance drone to launch Hellfire 
missiles is likely to be what the Afghan war is remembered for.

The surprise is who was doing the shooting: the Central Intelligence 
Agency, not the Air Force. The CIA borrowed the Predator from the 
Air Force, which had been
experimenting with arming the plane, and used it aggressively in 
Afghanistan, firing dozens of missiles at Taliban and al Qaeda 

In October, just days before the war began, the National Defense 
University issued a technical and policy assessment of lethal drones. 
"An operational UCAV
capability is not expected to be available to U.S. field and fleet 
commanders for 10 years," it concluded.

Now, with the war not yet over, there is new consensus that the 
armed drone is here to stay. Never again is the United States likely 
to go to war flying only piloted
aircraft. Aldridge predicted the next generation of the lethal drones 
will carry larger payloads of bombs and sensors. "That's the right 
thing to do," he said.

Keeping the Innovators

At its core, even a warrior drone is a matter of processing heaps of 
information. The key to operating one is being able to move enough 
data quickly so that it can be
flown and operated by a controller hundreds or thousands of miles 
away. Information also promises to be the organizing principle 
around which personnel policies

A small but vocal group of change-minded officers argues that the 
armed forces must revamp a half-century-old personnel system that 
transfers people every couple
of years, encourages generalists and seems to discourage 
innovative thinking.

Indeed, a study on how to transform the military done by the Center 
for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments for the Pentagon 
recommended the military keep
innovators in place longer. It also said service chiefs should be 
picked from areas likely to grow in importance, such as submarines 
and space operations.

The study was especially critical of the Air Force, particularly its 
leadership structure. The Air Force increasingly is being used for 
long-range airstrikes, but of the
service's 17 top officers, only one has a significant background in 
bombers, while 10 are fighter pilots, it said. Personnel choices lead 
to procurement choices, argued
the study's author, the center's director of strategic studies, Michael 
Vickers. While the Afghan war has shown the need for long-range 
bombers, he noted, the Air
Force continues to focus its acquisition energy on buying short-range 
aircraft such as the F-22 and the Joint Strike Fighter.

The Air Force is already adapting on some fronts. In a symbolic 
acknowledgment of the emerging role played by information as a 
weapon in and of itself, the Air
Force has given its new advanced command-and-control center a 
weapon-like name, the "Falconer."

"When you go back and look at the lessons identified and the 
technologies identified from Enduring Freedom" -- the military's 
formal name for the war on terrorists in
Afghanistan -- "you will see some wonderful capabilities that we had 
not demonstrated before in the ability to kill targets faster," said Air 
Force Maj. Gen. Robert F.
Behler, who heads the Aerospace Command and Control and 
Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center at Langley Air 
Force Base in Hampton, Va.

The Air Force hopes the center will help integrate the information 
gathered by satellites in space, reconnaissance aircraft over the 
battlefield and sensors on the
ground to help commanders make decisions more quickly.

Each of those information "platforms" would play a special role that 
makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts. For example, 
said Behler, a targeting
sequence might begin when a satellite detected a radio 
transmission. The satellite would automatically notify a Joint Stars 
airborne radar system that keeps track of
vehicles moving on a battlefield. Joint Stars would find the 
transmitting vehicle and order a Predator drone aircraft to move in 
and take video images of it.

"What we're trying to do is have digits talk to each other, the ones 
and zeros talking machine language," Behler said. "You find it and 
fix it, track it and target it, and
just before you engage it, you have a human break point that says, 
'Okay, that's a good target and all the rules of engagement are 
played into it.' "

In Afghanistan, the Predator fed real-time targeting video directly to 
AC-130 gunships, which were then able to attack targets. CIA 
operatives using armed
Predators achieved the U.S. military's long-standing goal of reducing 
the time from "sensor to shooter" to almost zero.

Where Battle Is Fought

Ultimately, what Behler is doing at the Falconer command-and-
control center in Virginia is not that different from the Army 
experiment with the new brigade in
Washington state.

Here at Fort Lewis, Capt. J.C. Glicks's infantry company is part of 
the Army's effort to be light enough to deploy overseas quickly but 
strong enough to survive once
it gets to the fight. To achieve this balance, the new unit has a far 
different organization than past infantry brigades. It has its own 
military intelligence, signal and
medical detachments, not usually part of a traditional Army brigade.

More strikingly, it possesses a unit not seen before in the Army: A 
"Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition Squadron" 
designed to acquire information
and feed it to other units in the brigade. To help it acquire the 
information, the squadron will fly its own air force of four unmanned 
armed vehicles.

One of the biggest training challenges facing the new Army unit is 
learning how to surf the wave of incoming information, rather than 
drown in it. So, for days at a
time, commanders and troops from the unit hunker down before 
rows of computer screens to learn how to understand and use the 
battlefield information flow.

"This is where the battle is fought, so to speak," Lt. Col. Kevin 
McClung said. "The key in all this is information dominance -- and 
we have more information about
ourselves and the enemy, which will make us more lethal when we 

There is concern, however, that the ability of computers and 
machines to collect information exceeds soldiers' ability to process 
it. "We can provide so much
information to you here it will really slow down your decision 
process," Behler warned.

As the tense exercises in the Fort Lewis simulation center indicate, 
the military's emphasis on information also creates new 
vulnerabilities. Growing dependence on
information -- and the machines that gather it -- means it is likely 
that future adversaries will attack the information networks, 
Cebrowski said. He said the military
should prepare for attacks on reconnaissance planes, on satellites 
and their ground terminals, and on the communications systems that 
link them.

"This is the information age," said the career naval aviator. "The 
battle is over the source of power."

Ricks reported from Washington.

=A9 2002 The Washington Post Company 

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