Small Navies and Network-Centric Warfare: Is There a Role?   [open pdf - 71KB]

"Is there a place for small navies in network-centric warfare? Will they be able to make any sort of contribution in multinational naval operations of the future? Or will they be relegated to the sidelines, undertaking the most menial of tasks, encouraged to stay out of the way--or stay at home? If the recent experience of the Canadian navy is any guide, small navies have every right to be concerned about their future in network-centric operations. For while the Canadian navy has achieved a high degree of success within U.S. naval formations, it has done so only by virtue of highly privileged access. To date, the challenges posed by the revolution in military affairs in general and network-centric warfare (NCW) in specific have been framed in terms of technology and investment. The allies and partners of the United States are lagging in technology and investment therein, and they need to make significant capital investments in order to catch up. Worse, 'dynamic coalitions,' developed rapidly to deal with crisis situations, may become the most common form of military cooperation. In such coalitions, detailed, prearranged plans and doctrine are likely to be entirely absent. Partners will have had little in-depth operational experience or knowledge of their own capabilities. Technical standardization will be low; national logistical support may be limited or entirely absent. Significantly, there may be serious questions regarding the professionalism of personnel participating in these coalitions."

2003 Naval War College Review. Posted here with permission. Documents are for personal use only and not for commercial profit.
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Naval War College Review: http://www.usnwc.edu/Publications/Naval-War-College-Review.aspx
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Naval War College Review (Spring 2003), v.56 no.2, p.83-99
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