What's in a transformation?

Few people can say exactly what a transformed military will look like. But it presumably will include a national missile defense system, advanced weapon systems such as the Joint Strike Fighter and the Army's Future Combat Systems, microsatellites, unmanned planes and information-gathering robots.

Much of the near-term focus is on information systems, including a truly joint command and control system that will provide battlefield commanders with the knowledge they need for making decisions more rapidly than their adversaries. Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, precision strike capabilities and information operations also play vital roles.

The focus will be on a broad range of information technologies because they are critical for all military missions, whether actual combat, deterrence or humanitarian operations, said retired Air Force Gen. Jim McCarthy in June while briefing the media on the two-month-long transformation study he led.

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