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10 Lessons of Falluja


A rather thoughtful look at the recent Falluja operation.
Iraq has become the proving ground for digitized warfare. UAV's, Combat PDA's and Blue Force Tracker all linked together providing information up and down the chain of command.



We've got a lot of the kit (DPA notwithstanding), what we really lack is the change of mindset to use it effectively. Network centred warfare means (amongst other things) cutting people out of the loop so that the two people who really need to can talk together. Of course said people resist being cut ...

For instance, just look at the death grip the gunners have on UAVs. In an ideal world the chap flying the camera would talk to the chap on the ground and let them know what's going on. But that's not for us, oh no. A party of aviation and imagery illiterate gunners will be hanging round at HQ making sure that all communications go through them because it's their toy. I know the fog of war is inevitable but we really shouldn't be generating it ourselves.

In an ideal world we'd have a purple multi-capbadge organisation running UAVs - aircrew to fly the thing so we'll be allowed to share airspace with real aircraft, recce boys to talk to their mates on the ground when they're using it, imagery analysts when you'd like to be able to recognise the kit and liaison people from the units being supported. The operators would talk direct to the clients and the whole thing would operate with a minimum of fuss. Instead of which we get the usual "if you're not a gunner you don't know anything" attitude and we waste most of the capability.

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