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Friday, September 16, 2005

Thoroughly Modern Military

Sometimes you wonder how good ideas sneak past the gatekeepers. And the Marines seem to be better at sneaking than most of the other big bureaucracies as Chester sorta points to here (oh, yes, except for Adm. Clark, who figured out, like most good junior officers, ways to beat the system while technically staying within the lines)...
After all, our current military organizations are relics of the industrial age, and the welfare state. They are nation-state institutions. What will the military of the market-state look like? There are many answers, but I think the most interesting ones lie at the nexus of Bobbitt's work with that of two RAND researchers, Jon Arquilla and David Ronfeldt, who are the pioneers behind the concept of "netwar" (see The Advent of Netwar). The RANDsters describe the rise of network forms of organization as a direct result of the information society (read: Bobbitt's "global communications"), which break down hierarchies (read: bureaucratic government agency holdovers from the nation-state). Their work is fascinating, and has obviously been very influential. They have written a separate work postulating that "swarming" will be the doctrine of the future, because of the decentralized nature of warfighting organizations, based on dense and robust communications. Hugh Hewitt has quoted their work about swarming in his own book, Blog, to describe what he terms "blogswarms". And of course, the Marine Corps is developing something called "Distributed Operations"...
Hmmm.


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