June 1, 1997
Marine Corps Gazette
Marines look to the business world for alternate approaches to information handling and decisionmaking.
As we approach the next millennium, we can expect adversaries to avoid combat between platforms-aircraft vs. aircraft, tank vs. tank-because we excel at destroying platforms. They will fight asymmetrically, dispersing to conceal centers of gravity. The Joint Chiefs of Staff publication, ‘Joint Vision 2010,” anticipates that ground combat will be nonlinear, requiring U.S. units to fight independently, tied in by digital communications across a dispersed battlefield. The Defense Science Board, reaching the same conclusion, recommended a marked increase in the capabilities of the infantry squad. The goal is to mass effects-in telligence, indirect fires, maneuver, and direct firesrather than to mass forces. Stich independent units, or “combat cells,” will often be outnumbered. For defense and offense, they will need indirect fires, especially from the air and sea, to avoid establishing vulnerable bases in the combat zone. The number of digital calls for fire will accelerate, demanding fast decisions.
Over the past 2 years, Marines have conducted four wargames with futures traders on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The traders fight economic wars daily, relying upon digital information. In order for the Marines and traders to interact, the Commandant’s Warfighting Lab has developed a personal computer simulation, called Tactical