The Department of Defense has been successfully exploiting rapidly developing advances in information technology for military gain. On tomorrow's multidimensional battlefield - or "battlespace" - the increased density, acuity, and connectivity of sensors and many other information devices may allow U. S. Armed Forces to see almost everything worth seeing in real or near-real time. Such enhanced vision of the battlespace is no doubt a significant military advantage, but a question remains: How to we achieve dominant battlefield knowledge, namely the ability to understand what we see and act on it decisively?
The papers collected here address the most critical aspects of that problem - to wit: If the United States develops the means to acquire dominant battlespace knowledge (DBK), how might that affect the way it goes to war, the circumstances under which force can and will be used, the purposes for its employment, and the resulting alterations of the global geomilitary environment? Of particular interest is how the authors view the influence of DBK in light of the shift from global and regional stability issues that marks the post-Cold War world.
While no definitive answer has yet emerged, it is clear that the implications of so profound a change in military technology are critical to the structure and function of the U.S. Armed Forces. In working toward a definitive answer, the authors of this volume make an important contribution to a debate whose resolution will shape the decades to come.
Ervin J. Rokke
Lieutenant General, United States Air Force
President, National Defense University