Subject: IW Mailing List iw/960120
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 1996 16:54:34 -0800
From: (Roger D. Thrasher)
Subject: IM & C4I

>Jones, David T.:
>>Eliot Cohen, reviewing this work, suggested that having an "information
>>corps" in the 21st century is analogous to having a "combustion engine
>>corps" in the 20th.
> (Roger D. Thrasher) wrote:
>I'm not sure this is a good analogy....
>I think you are missing the point of Cohen's comment.  Information is
>integral to every military application and will become more so in the
>next century.  You don't have a combustion engine corps now because the
>engine is just a fact of life in getting the job done whether it is a
>tank, a plane or a boat.  I think that is what Cohen is saying.

I think I understand what Cohen is saying, but also I believe there are
two separate issues.  If we are talking about plain old "information
technology," then we do need some kind of IT function (but not a corps)
to help us perform warfare (not just information warfare, but all kinds
of warfare) better.  [Side note: Maybe we did have combustion engine
corps/units under a different name.  What were the early armored
divisions primarily organized around if not the internal combustion
engine? Same is true for an Air Force organized around the technology of
heavier-than-air vehicles.]

But it's the second issue I think is important.  Is information a medium
of war -- just as land, air, sea and space are mediums of war? We have
developed "corps" (in simplest terms, land=army, air=air force,
sea=navy, space=space command) to fight in all the traditional media. 
And we use all sorts of technologies to fight in these media --
including combustion engines and IT.  So if there is a true "cyberspace"
to be exploited as a medium of conflict, then perhaps there needs to be
a "cyber command" to perform war in that medium.  That is my point -- we
should be careful not to confuse specific technologies with realms of
conflict.  Although the microchip may enable us to compete in
cyberspace, the point is dominating cyberspace, not the technology we
use to do it. 

So if we accept that cyberspace is a true realm of conflict, then the
need for an "info service" or "cyber command" falls out naturally (to
me) given how we have organized to fight in the other realms of
conflict.  As you rightly note, information is key to every military
application -- probably just as exploitation of space is key to every
military application.  So I could see a "cyber command" organized along
much the same lines as US Space Command.  Mostly in a supporting and
enabling provider of information for use in other media of war, but also
capable of striking in its own media of cyberspace. 
From: Potter B MSgt ACC/SCXX 
Subject: Re: [C4I-Pro] Re: IM & C4I
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 96 22:55:00 EST

| wrote ...
| use in other media of war, but also capable of striking in its own media 
| of cyberspace.

OK by me, as long as it doesn't take the form of a resurrected AFCC. 
Don't take the information weapons out of the hands of the warfighting
commands to put into the hands of a ubiquitous, yet underpowered,
supporting command.

The "cyber command" must clearly be a warfighting command, or it will
forever be mired in mediocrity.