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Title: South African Perspective on AFRICOM

Total Pages: 8 Words: 2147 References: 0 Citation Style: APA Document Type: Essay

Essay Instructions: Instructions
Paper requirements are strategy and policy recommendations on a critical issue(s) about or between military organizations South African (Sub-Saharan Africa) and AFRICOM. Importantly it should discuss issues such as military to military training and other military programs that make AFRICOM important to South Africa that protect U.S. national security and examine challenges to U.S. Interests and the instruments, institutions and approaches the U.S. might use to meet those challenges.

1. Grammar style must be Turabian.
a. 8 pages
b. Paper should be double-space
c. Times New Roman 12-point font
d. End notes or footnotes may be used to indicate the sources used

Miles Stones:
1. I would like to review outline and thesis statement as a way ahead for feedback. This is not a request for an additional page to the paper.

South African (Sub-Saharan Africa) Perspective on AFRICOM, If you have a better topic, i'm open to any ideas or recommendations on a topic for this paper.

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: Mandatory Military Service

Total Pages: 8 Words: 2500 Works Cited: 8 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Research Paper

Essay Instructions: -Don't put extra spaces between paragraphs.
-A minimum of 5 sources must be cited in the text.
-A minimum of 8 sources on the works cited page, no more than 3 sources cited can be from the internet.

Discuss when mandatory military service in the U.S. was in effect (the draft, conscription). Discuss different countries who have mandatory military service in effect, and discuss their regulations (what age range has to serve, who has to serve, etc.)If there are any negative aspects these countries citizens have towards mandatory service, include them. Discuss the U.S. lawmakers today who are proposing that military service (or a draft) in the U.S. should be mandatory, and discuss why they want to do it.(example-the Universal Military Training and Service Act of 2001). Propose in the paper mandatory military service in the U.S. is a bad idea, and if possible, quote some military member or high ranking officer stating it is a bad idea. Refer also to the U.S.'s pre-voluntary draft laws.

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: Lawrence in Arabia War Deceit Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East

Total Pages: 2 Words: 709 Bibliography: 1 Citation Style: APA Document Type: Essay

Essay Instructions: i am in the ROTC at the University of Pittsburgh.
Every week we pretend to be Platoon Leaders and we train for missions such as attack, recon, ambush. We also practice 17 leadership dimensions as shown in the book.

these are the leadership dimensions above.
This is one essay with two topics:

1.) Lawrence never received formal military training, but he achieved the rank of Colonel in the British Army. Discuss how he achieved the rank and compare his training to yours.

2.) Assess the leadership of Lawrence using the 17 dimensions from the cadet Leadership Assessment Report (write a ?blue card? on Lawrence). The strength of your answer will rely on your ability to describe particular examples of Lawrence?s leadership dimensions.

I have the digital book and will copy and paste these pages.

Pg 82 2lt
169 CPT
346 maj
414 ltc

> with the author he tasks about the characters and their influence
> good luck girl! if you have any ideas on what pages i should look at let
> me
> know!

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: My Personal Interest in a Career in Information Technology IT

Total Pages: 3 Words: 805 Sources: 0 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Research Paper

Essay Instructions: INSTRUCTION:
1. Personal Interest essay
2. TOPIC: My Personal Interest in a Career in Information Technology (IT)
3. MLA FORMAT with two cited sources. Arial/12/double space
4. I will include the articles of the cited sources. Please make sure I am not plagiarizing. Min quotations: 2, Min parentetical citations: 4
5. My draft does not flow. Please paraphrase the parenthetical citations in the essay to flow with my personal experiences. This essay is to show why I have interest in information technology.
I need a better Thesis statement in the document, if you think mine is not adequate.
6. Also you can include some of these other experiences in document to help with the writing:
A. Military Training (U.S. NAVY)
Attended Fire Control A school in 1984, this course gave me the knowledge and skills of basic electronics theory and basic electronic maintenance.
In the Navy, I?ve been trained to operate and configure high frequency (HF), very high frequency (VHF), ultra high frequency (UHF), and satellite secure and non-secure communications equipment.
I have attended Command/Control/Communication/Computer and Intelligence (C4I) system engineering courses. The courses taught me the basic understanding of applicable system hardware and connectivity, applicable system software, primary system support organizations, system documentation and data communications. Examples of systems are shipboard Global Command and Control System-Maritime (GCCS-M) and Advanced Tomahawk Weapons Control System (ATWCS) Tactical data Processor (TDP) ship platforms.
B. Military Life Experiences
Previous assignments in the Navy I was tasked to design, build, and maintain small to medium size networks on board ships. Money and manpower was a big factor in getting those jobs completed. Also, I am known as the ?C4I supervisor? while I am aboard ship. I am mainly a technical advisor on in problems that occur in the C4I architecture onboard ship. Examples are:
Connectivity of Ultra High Frequency (UHF) circuits
Connectivity of Extremely High Frequency (EHF) circuits
Connectivity of Unix based and Microsoft network computers
Connectivity all routers and switches

My Personal Interest in a Career in Information Technology (IT)

Outside the military, I do not have any reason to develop plans for weapon systems or to conduct attack exercises. The skills I acquired in information technology are transferable to civilian situations, however.
I have given 20 years of my life to military and have been dedicated to the armed forces, which placed me in a wide variety of situations quite different from what others might encounter. In these twenty years, I''ve also been exposed to the other side that is information technology; I''ve been allowed to learn new skills and apply them in new situations through this new technology.
My own future has been decided after an analysis of the way the military is currently structured and after making a projection into the future of what this means to me. I know that I was able to do this because of my experiences in the Navy and on the job. I know how the military operates and how it "thinks," and I have been trained to take all the evidence before me and shape it into something meaningful and accurate. In the following pages, I will describe some experiences I obtain in the military that pertain to information technology and why my personal interest in this topic is so important to me to continue to grow and learn more when I transfer into the civilian sector.
I have attended Command/Control/Communication/Computer and Intelligence (C4I) system engineering courses and these courses have taught me the basic understanding of applicable system hardware and connectivity, applicable system software, primary system support organizations, system documentation and data communications that is a part of intelligence. Officials said, that among the devices being hurried into the development pipeline is foliage-penetrating radar sensors, micro-drones and microwave antipersonnel guns that stun, rather than injure or kill (Freedburg, 1378). These are all the new technology used for the security, maintenance and knowledge for the sake of nation. The list of technologies that emerged from American military research is endless are now becoming very common like the computer mouse, flat-screen displays, night-vision goggles, and satellite global positioning, to name a few. Since research funds started drying up after the Cold War, some defense experts predict that a major increase in U.S. government-sponsored research would reverse the decline in commercial spin-offs (Freedburg, 1378). Without the information systems, the U.S. military would have just been blasting away at the landscape in a big, set-piece barrage right out of World War II. Navy Secretary Gordon England griped to his staff about the piles of paperwork on his desk and asked whether it could all be computerized (Loeb, 16). Everything needs to be computerized, properly organized and properly stated so that there is no guarantee of a mistake (Loeb, 16). Perhaps this is why I am so interested in the information technology.

Information technology is becoming the norm, and this means that companies are developing systems, which cover the spectrum of a business, and which provide IT answers to a number of problems. The Internet is becoming more integral to the operation of companies as well as individuals, and the movement of information form one place to another is still a key to competitiveness and advantage. The trend for companies may be toward network systems that offer massive storage capabilities without the necessity for the company itself to house that storage, and several companies are pushing in this direction for both companies and individuals. How well they do may depend on other developments in the industry, such as the development and implementation of systems with higher bandwidth.
These solutions require a better trained work force and I may be helpful to the civilian sector. Information technology has interested me with all the new technology; I believe I can be of great help. After analyzing my experiences in the Navy and on the job I have learned to know take all the evidence before me and shape it into something meaningful and accurate. I am seeking new knowledge to go with the experience and skills I have already obtained. Combined with the skills and knowledge obtained from my training and experience in the armed forces, this will allow me to continue on and complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology. This degree will then allow me to begin a new career in information technology.

Works Cited

Freedberg , Sydney J. "IT Changes Everything" National Journal. 34.19 (2002): 1378.

Loeb, Vernon W. "Afghan War Is a Lab for U.S. Innovation; New Technologies Are
Tested in Battle." The Washington Post. 26 Mar. 2002: 16.


Subject(s): TECHNOLOGY -- United States; SEPTEMBER 11 Terrorist
Attacks, 2001; DEFENSE industries -- United States; TERRORISM -- United
Source: National Journal, 5/11/2002, Vol. 34 Issue 19, p1378, 3p, 3bw

Author(s): Freedberg Jr., Sydney J.
Abstract: Discusses military technology in the U.S. and its
relation to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Application of
information technology on airline flight schedules; Development of
bomber planes during World War II; Details of possible training given to
hijackers from Afghanistan; Utilization of satellites by the U.S.
military in the prevention of terrorism.
AN: 6697408
ISSN: 0360-4217
Full Text Word Count: 2238
Database: Academic Search Premier


For more than 50 years, since the twin triumphs of World War II and the
Marshall Plan, nothing has summed up American power in the world so much
as piles of stuff.

Be it weapons or widgets, rockets or refrigerators, the United States
prevailed in war and peace because it could produce the most of the
latest stuff. It was global domination through mass production.

But like so much else, this supremacy by manufacture didn''t save us on
September 11, 2001. Terrorists armed with nothing more sophisticated
than box cutters hijacked the high-tech, high-flying products of U.S.
industrial might--Boeing airliners--and flew them into the high-rise
engineering wonder of the world-the World Trade Center. And in an ironic
twist, when U.S. retaliation came, Special Forces soldiers had to ride,
literally, to victory on the backs of borrowed horses and on the
lethality of air strikes conducted by the oldest aircraft in the
Pentagon''s inventory--the 50-year-old B-52 bomber.

Certainly, both sides in this new kind of war used the heavy-metal
gadgets that have long defined the cutting edge, most obviously
long-range jet aircraft (whether owned or stolen) laden with explosive
materials (whether smart bombs or jet fuel). But such tangible uses of
technology were just the starting point, their availability almost taken
for granted. The critical margin of victory for both sides was something
altogether more ethereal: It was information.

It was the terrorists'' understanding of air transportation, not their
box cutters, that was their deadliest weapon on September 11. Thanks to
21st-century information technology, everything they needed was readily
available: from manuals and simulators for their pilot training to
flight schedules on the Web. They also could glean from news articles
that standard procedure called for U.S. aircrews to collaborate with,
not confront, hijackers in order to save passengers'' lives.

Likewise, it was information that enabled America''s lightning campaign
in Afghanistan to work so well. Networking software allowed U.S.
planners to coordinate nearly nonstop missions over Afghan skies using
planes from Central Asian airstrips, aircraft carriers at sea, and bases
in the United States. Digital communications gear let Special Forces on
the ground transmit precise coordinates to the circling bombers. And an
$18,000 upgrade kit let old-fashioned, free-falling bombs steer
themselves to those coordinates by tapping into Global Positioning
System satellites in space. New technology did make the crucial
difference, but it was a new kind of new technology: small, quiet, and
relatively cheap computers that told all the big, loud, and expensive
machines exactly where to go for maximum effect. Without the information
systems, the U.S. military would have just been blasting away at the
landscape in a big, set-piece barrage right out of World War II.

A crucial caveat: It was having the right information, in the hands of
just a few of the right people, that made the difference. It was not
simply a matter of having a lot of data. On 9/11, Mohamed Atta and a
band of 18 disciplined and trained hijackers, armed with some key but
easily available information, wreaked great terror on America.
Similarly, small Special Forces teams made up of just six soldiers each
helped destroy an entire regime because of their precise knowledge of
the enemy''s location in Afghanistan, and because of their ability to
transmit that knowledge to the bombers. Said Kenneth Watman, director of
warfare analysis and research at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.,
"The real working end of this problem is the information end, not the
shooting end."

And it''s not the quantity of information that counts, as anyone who has
used e-mail or searched the Web knows--it''s how you use the masses of
data to achieve your goal. "Being submerged in data that way is not very
productive," said Watman. "You''ve got to have some sort of intelligent
scheme for putting things together."

And that''s where government tends to fall down. A bureaucracy built for
the Industrial Age has real trouble adapting to an age of information.
The private sector is still struggling to master the e-economy, but
e-government lags far behind even these first steps. The White House''s
six-month-old Office of Homeland Security has only just hired a chief
information officer to help manage the flood of e-mailed proposals from
would-be contractors.

It is not that government never gets the information flowing smoothly.
The FBI''s National Crime Information Center can electronically alert
almost every police chief and sheriff in the country, and some
jurisdictions have computer terminals in every squad car. Other
government and private groups--from disaster planners to hospitals to
medical associations--have their own extensive networks, too. But each
network is often too narrow to catch anything unusual: It simply moves
information up and down within one organization, not side to side
between them. Retired Navy Capt. John Gannon (now with the consulting
firm Intellibridge) recalls that in his former job as director of the
federal interagency National Intelligence Council, "I had responsibility
for coordinating 11 agencies of the U.S. government. I could not
communicate with those 11 agencies through one e-mail system."

The greatest tragedy to result from this information arteriosclerosis,
of course, was 9/11. "It was the biggest single failure of our federal
government," said Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa. "You had agencies that were
tracking individuals that other agencies weren''t aware of, because there
was no cross-pollination of data sets." The State Department and the
Immigration and Naturalization Service, because they did not get a CIA
watch list until too late, let suspected terrorists into the country. A
warrant was issued for the arrest of the apparent ringleader, Mohamed
Atta, in April 2001 by Florida state police who had ticketed him for
driving without a license. But the Florida police had no access to
federal intelligence information.

So September 11 gave a new impetus to the long-running struggle to pool
information across government. The INS is now trying to merge its
database of offenders and fingerprints with the FBI''s. A Customs Service
pilot project in Arizona automatically checks vehicles crossing the
border against both state and federal registers of licenses, and it even
suggests which ones have suspicious crossing histories. A follow-on
experiment will share the data with every government entity that works
an Arizona border post: Arizona agencies, Customs, the Transportation
Department, and even the Agriculture Department. Even more ambitious,
the military''s Special Operations Command has taken over an experimental
Army project to "fuse" information from different Pentagon and civilian
spy agencies'' secret, and currently separate, data systems.

Again, the objective is not simply to accumulate mounds of information.
The idea is to fuse together different kinds of data to get different
perspectives on a problem from many angles. The simplest example is what
the military calls "hyper-spectral" reconnaissance--looking at the same
thing with different kinds of sensors. To an infrared camera, a heated
metal plate looks like a running tank engine; to an optical camera, a
wooden mock-up looks like a real tank. But if both sensors can be
pointed at the same suspected target and compared, then the enemy is
less likely to fool U.S. targeters.

The idea goes well beyond combining different types of cameras. Disaster
planners now build electronic maps that, for example, can show how close
fire stations are to chemical plants, or which hospitals can handle an
overflow of casualties in a nearby mall''s parking lot. Rep. Weldon
proposes a "National Operations and Analysis Hub" that can collate
transcripts of intercepted phone calls, spy camera imagery, agents''
reports, and more into a single coherent picture of the world.

It sounds like an impossible technical challenge. But in fact, large
private corporations have used the technology for years in data mining
and marketing, Weldon said. But getting the government to make use of
the technology, he said, "[has] been a battle with the agencies all

So what''s the holdup? A big part of the problem is the resistance to
change. Even the most seemingly mundane uses of information technology
require some fundamental rethinking about how a bureaucracy does things.
In February, for example, Navy Secretary Gordon England griped to his
staff about the piles of paperwork on his desk and asked whether it
could all be computerized. By April, a "paperless" system was in place:
Preliminary estimates are that for each routine decision, processing
time was cut by 78 percent, the number of staff to handle it by 71
percent, and the cost by 75 percent.

But those savings didn''t result from simply speeding up the bureaucratic
rounds. In a traditional office, a physical piece of paper goes from
official to official to official, each one seeing the preceding
handlers'' comments and making his or her own before passing the
memorandum along. And if one handler along the way really objected, he
or she just sat on it. It was what engineers call a linear or "serial"
process, where one broken link breaks the entire chain. With the new
network, the originators of any proposal post their draft document on an
intranet, so anyone can review and comment simultaneously without
waiting. That''s called a "parallel" process--except that in geometry,
parallel lines never intersect, and yet in this network, everyone sees
each other''s comments and responds. It''s all about interaction and
intersection. The end result is faster, more flexible, more responsive
to everyone''s input--and distinctly unsettling to traditional

Now, this is what can happen inside just one small military secretariat.
It is fairly disruptive, but also more productive. Even more
destabilizing, and also more valuable, are those networks that link
different agencies. Knowledge is power, and is a jealously guarded
bureaucratic commodity. But when a new network fuses information from
multiple organizations, it creates new knowledge--new power--along the
boundaries between them. In the language of the Information Age
apostles, power shifts from the center to the edges.

Then those edges begin to blur. Eleven years ago, Desert Storm had an
air campaign and then a ground campaign, clearly distinct and
elaborately pre-planned; today in Afghanistan, aircraft and teams of
ground troops work together from minute to minute on their own
initiative. For the wars of tomorrow, the Pentagon''s Joint Forces
Command is experimenting with new task force headquarters that would
deploy only a minimum of staff to a war zone. These headquarters would
instead use networks to tap into centers of specialized
expertise--military and civilian--back home, much as a small e-business
start-up relies on contractors around the world. And a Chicago think
tank, the Emergency Response & Research Institute, has proposed "virtual
disaster networks" that can expand during a crisis to draw in whatever
resources are needed to confront a given fire, flood, earthquake, or
terrorist act. The local fire chief on the scene could link
electronically to neighboring counties, National Guard units, state
officials, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and appropriate
experts anywhere on Earth--perhaps chemists for a Bhopal-style chemical
leak or nerve gas attack, or physicians at the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention for an anthrax or smallpox outbreak.

What''s the organizational diagram for this future? There isn''t one.
Instead, there''s an ad hocracy that pulls together everything it needs
to solve the current problem, then dissolves. "Maybe a better word than
''organization'' would be ''collaborative community,''" said Dave Ozolek, an
experimenter at Joint Forces Command.

In this dizzying future, "the technology [is] simply the enabler,"
Ozolek added. "It''s not just buying a commercially available product and
getting everybody up on the same screen: It also requires organizational
change and cultural change."

No wonder few want to do it. Change is just too hard. At least troops
fighting in Afghanistan have a strong incentive: If they can get the new
way to work, it will save lives, maybe their own. Back home in
Washington, the only certainty is that sticking to the old way will save
your job.

So it should be no surprise that the history of government technology
projects is littered with overruns, delays, and projects killed outright
because different offices could not agree on what to do. And sometimes
the inherent flaws in some bureaucracies are so deep that a given agency
has to be brought up a level or two before extensive change can be
contemplated. Consider the Immigration and Naturalization Service
officers who issued visas recently to two terrorists who had died six
months earlier, on 9/11. The problem there was not the lack of
sophisticated network technology, it was a failure by humans to connect
the names in the newspaper to the names on the visa applications. As
tricky as the technical questions can be, said a senior IT consultant to
the federal government, "the big problem is the lack of management skill
in government."

With the rise of modern information technology, the tools exist to
change literally everything the government does, from counter-terrorism
to office management. The question is what government will do with them.


Afghan War Is a Lab for U.S. Innovation; New Technologies Are Tested in
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post
Washington, D.C.
Mar 26, 2002


Authors: Vernon Loeb

Pagination: A.16

ISSN: 01908286

Subject Terms: War
BombsMilitary weapons
Military strategy

Geographic Names: Afghanistan


Ten were quickly dispatched to U.S. forces in Central Asia, and three
weeks ago the first one was fired by an F-15E at a tunnel in eastern Afghanistan
at the start of Operation Anaconda, the offensive against suspected al
Qaeda and Taliban holdouts.

The thermobaric bomb resulted from a problem bedeviling Pentagon planners.
Many al Qaeda fighters were burrowed deep inside vast cave complexes in
Afghanistan''s mountains. Short of a ground invasion to roust them cave
by cave -- a proposition that would likely lead to a large loss of American
lives -- getting at the terrorists was problematic.

One $30 million Global Hawk crashed in late December after a mission
over Afghanistan. And two friendly fire incidents that left three U.S.
soldiers dead and more than two dozen wounded apparently took place after
target coordinates were miscommunicated from U.S. ground forces to pilots
firing satellite-guided bombs.
Copyright The Washington Post Company Mar 26, 2002

Full Text:

Within weeks of the attacks on New York and the Pentagon last September,
dozens of government scientists and engineers at the Defense Threat Reduction
Agency in Fairfax County began working virtually around the clock to develop
a powerful new bomb.

Their mission: come up with a device that could penetrate al Qaeda''s
cave complexes deep in the mountains of Afghanistan and kill the people

By mid-December, the scientists were ready to go. In the Nevada desert,
65 miles north of Las Vegas, they detonated the world''s first "thermobaric"
bomb, which creates massive amounts of shock wave pressure from its blast.

Ten were quickly dispatched to U.S. forces in Central Asia, and three
weeks ago the first one was fired by an F-15E at a tunnel in eastern Afghanistan
at the start of Operation Anaconda, the offensive against suspected al
Qaeda and Taliban holdouts.

The crash development of the weapon is just one example of how the war
on terrorism is proving to be a potent laboratory for military innovation.
Thirty new technologies, from armed aerial drones to dosimeters that measure
exposure to toxic chemicals, have been rushed into use at home and abroad,
the offspring of a $688 million effort over the past eight years to stimulate
innovation at the Pentagon.

Among the devices being hurried into the development pipeline are foliage-penetrating
radar sensors, micro-drones and microwave antipersonnel guns that stun,
rather than maim or kill, officials say.

The results of the scientists'' work likely will reverberate far beyond
the campaign against terrorism. As the German blitzkrieg tactic of sudden,
swift land attacks or the American Manhattan project that developed the
first atomic bomb during World War II demonstrated, major wars lead to
military innovations that revolutionize how conflicts are fought.

"Many of the weapons that remain the centerpiece of our military posture
trace their origins directly to previous conflicts: the tank in World War
I, radar on the eve of World War II, and of course the nuclear bomb, which
defined an entire age," said Loren B. Thompson, a defense consultant at
the Lexington Institute, a public policy research organization.

Eight days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Ronald M. Sega, who directs research
and engineering at the Pentagon, called a dozen defense technology officials
together to talk about what projects should be accelerated to support the
impending war.

Sega said three emerged from a crowded field of 150 projects: the thermobaric
bomb, a bunker-busting, air-launched cruise missile, and a "nuclear quadrapole
reasonance" sensor to detect the presence of bulk explosive materials in
trucks and shipping containers.

He said all three have been deployed, either in Afghanistan or the United

The thermobaric bomb resulted from a problem bedeviling Pentagon planners.
Many al Qaeda fighters were burrowed deep inside vast cave complexes in
Afghanistan''s mountains. Short of a ground invasion to roust them cave
by cave -- a proposition that would likely lead to a large loss of American
lives -- getting at the terrorists was problematic.

"We looked at thermobarics and said, ''Hey, we could do this really quickly
and provide a significantly improved capability,'' " said Stephen M. Younger,
director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

The thermobaric bomb releases and then detonates a fine cloud of high-explosive
chemicals, creating devastating shock waves that destroy everything --
and everyone -- inside a cave, bunker or building. The term thermobaric
is derived from the effects of temperature -- the Greek word for heat is
"therme" -- and air pressure -- the Greek word for pressure is "baros"
-- on the target.

Only one has been dropped in Afghanistan on what Gen. Richard B. Myers,
the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called a "tactically significant"
cave. Although the device detonated as envisioned, a problem with the laser-guidance
system caused it to fall short of the cave entrance, negating its effectiveness,
a defense official said.

In addition to the thermobaric bomb, the Afghan war will be remembered
for its tactical advances -- the fusion of Special Operations Forces spotting
targets on the ground and long-range bombers firing at them from the air,
for example. It also has marked the first use of armed unmanned drones,
with the CIA using surveillance Predators to launch Hellfire antitank missiles,
and the first operational flight of the Global Hawk, an unmanned surveillance
plane that flies higher and longer than the Predator.

Air Force officers working out of a special operational cell at the
Pentagon called Checkmate figured out how to feed surveillance video from
a Predator directly into an AC-130 gunship''s computers for real-time targeting.

Navy pilots flying EA-6B Prowlers off aircraft carriers found themselves
playing a new role in jamming enemy ground communications. Army Special
Forces troops devised new ways of communicating target coordinates to incoming
fighter and bomber pilots.

There can be dangerous and costly consequences to such experimentation,

One $30 million Global Hawk crashed in late December after a mission
over Afghanistan. And two friendly fire incidents that left three U.S.
soldiers dead and more than two dozen wounded apparently took place after
target coordinates were miscommunicated from U.S. ground forces to pilots
firing satellite-guided bombs.

But even with such setbacks, defense officials and analysts say the
pace and scope of innovation in wartime -- and the immediate feedback on
how the new weapons are performing on the battlefield -- are invaluable.
In this respect, they say Operation Enduring Freedom, as the Pentagon calls
the Afghanistan war, is already proving its worth.

"The most important innovation of Operation Enduring Freedom was the
netting together of forces that traditionally weren''t regarded as having
much to do with each other: strategic bombers and Special Forces, ground
forces and Navy electronic aircraft," Thompson said.

Indeed, the war has been a near-perfect laboratory, according to Michael
Vickers, a military analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments,
a defense think tank. Vickers, a former Army officer and CIA operative,
said the success came because the al Qaeda network and the Taliban government
sheltering it were overmatched opponents.

"When great powers fight smaller wars -- precursor wars in between the
old military world and the new military world -- you can experiment more
because there''s no doubt you''re going to win," he said. "You experiment,
and there is real feedback. You don''t get that very much in the military."

In Afghanistan, Vickers drew a distinction between technical innovation,
such as development of the thermobaric bomb, and what he considers even
more important organizational and tactical innovation, such as linking
Special Forces on the ground with bombers in the air.

"This was a new way of war, a new operational concept," Vickers said.
"And it was a pretty significant innovation, because we got fairly rapid
regime change with it. This wasn''t on the shelf. This was the way we planned
to overthrow governments."

But even this tactical advance was highly dependent upon new military
technology, largely information technology linking the ground and air forces.

According to one Air Force case study documenting the fusion between
soldiers and bombers, one lethal attack took place last fall after a commander
with the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance asked U.S. Special Forces troops
to help him maneuver through a valley occupied by a large Taliban garrison
and troop concentration.

Using satellite communications, the Army troops called the Air Force
operations center in Saudi Arabia to request an aircraft. The operations
center immediately told an "on-station" B-52 to contact the soldiers.

Using a device called a Viper -- a portable laser range finder, digital
map display and Global Positioning System receiver -- the soldiers calculated
the coordinates of the Taliban garrison and troops and radioed them to
the B-52 crew.

"Less than 20 minutes after the Special Forces operator was contacted,
the B-52 crew passed over the target area and dropped a series of munitions
on the Taliban garrison and troop concentration," the case study said.
"The airstrike resulted in heavy Taliban casualties, the destruction of
numerous fighting positions and artillery pieces, and significant damage
to a command bunker."

One senior Navy official told of how Special Forces called in a carrier-based
Navy warplane on four al Qaeda fighters in a sports utility vehicle who
stopped and took cover under a bridge as soon as they heard the approaching

With the Special Forces troops shining a laser designator on the enemy,
the official said, the Navy pilot was able to "bounce" a laser-guided bomb
and kill the enemy without damaging the bridge.

"They didn''t know where it [was] coming from," the official said. "A
lot of it was technology per se that enabled us to just kick these guys
every time they put their head up."

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner.
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