RealNews

The Doctrine of Digital War

How high tech is shaping America’s military strategy: the pros and cons. When Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, mindful of America’s two-month rout of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, sat down with war planners to prepare for a U.S.-led thrust into Iraq, he had a vision of how the unfolding conflict would play out. A devotee of a new theory of warfare that places enormous stress on air power, computer communications, and small, agile ground forces, the Pentagon chief began work on a battle plan that was a marvel of technological prowess. Ever since he joined the Administration, fresh from a second career as a successful CEO, Rumsfeld had been fighting skirmishes with his military brass. His notion of “transformation” — Rumspeak for a leaner, more technologically driven force that leapfrogs generations of Cold War weaponry — met with resistance from generals and congressional porkmeisters alike. Defenders of the status quo insisted that future wars would be won the old-fashioned way — with lethal firepower and plenty of U.S. grunts on the ground. The debates intensified as the prospect of war in Iraq drew nearer and Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush signaled his determination to oust Saddam Hussein. Full Story

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