Center would balance fed war efforts
- By George I. Seffers
- May 21, 2001
Some military officials envision a radical new way of conducting warfare with the full power of every federal department and agency. To pull it off, however, the country needs a national information fusion center.
The National Fusion Center concept emerged during Unified Vision 2001, a classified experiment led by the Joint Forces Command and ending May 24. The purpose of the three-week experiment is to study ways of coordinating a governmentwide war effort.
"We need solid information that can be fused into relevant knowledge for decision-making," said retired Marine Gen. Charles Wilhelm, a Unified Vision participant. The structure and decision-making power of such a center was a matter of "lively debate" during Unified Vision 2001, Wilhelm said. He rejected the notion of a decision-making body "miles, continents or oceans away" from a conflict.
"We are not looking for squad leaders in the sky," he said.
Traditional formulas for military success — overtaking territory and defeating the enemy's military forces — didn't work during the NATO-led campaign to oust Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic from Kosovo. It was only when the Defense, Treasury, Justice and State departments combined forces to attack Milosevic's money-laundering capabilities that he was defeated, government officials said.
In future conflicts, that kind of coordination will need input from military and political leaders. "What we do not have right now is any kind of national fusion center, any kind of knowledge advantage center, which brings together the political, the economic, the social, the infrastructure and the informational elements that can be applied in an operational environment," Wilhelm said. Information technology such as a collaboration tool would support a centralized or decentralized center.
"Instead of focusing primarily on [an enemy's] warfighting capabilities, we're really attacking his war-making capabilities," said David Ozolek, deputy director of the Joint Forces Command joint futures laboratory. "It's a much broader type of attack that uses a far greater set of capabilities." nU.S. hosts allied simulation demo
Joint Forces Command
Unified Vision 2001