The Strategic Corporal and the Emerging Battlefield: The Nexus between the USMC's Three Block War Concept and Network Centric Warfare
Szepesy, James E.
- Submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Abstract: The modern international security environment has undergone significant changes since the end of the Cold War. The U.S. Marine Corps, recognizing the changing landscape of war, articulated its vision of future warfare as the Three Block War. Concurrent to Marine ... read moreCorps conceptualization of the Three Block War was an explosive growth in information technology developments. These developments, along with demands to reduce military spending, combined with the changing face of war to generate tremendous pressure upon the US military establishment to adapt. Emerging from these pressures was a desire to operationalize the information technology advancements realized at the end of the 20th Century in what is being called Network Centric Warfare. These two vectors, refining the Three Block War model and Network Centric Warfare, have come to be important elements to the strategies and tactics used in Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom as well as components to the consequent debate about the appropriate future structure and composition of the U.S. military. The convergence of the Three Block War and Network Centric Warfare has led to renewed importance and significance of individual actions on the battlefield, the rebirth of the Strategic Corporal for 21st Century warfare if you will. The nexus of the Three Block War, Network Centric Warfare, and the Strategic Corporal have been put to the test in Iraq. In the fight for Fallujah, the small unit leader emerged as a center of gravity. His ability to affect the tactical level had strategic implications. To maximize the positive effects of these small unit leaders, the Marines developed their strategy to integrate the Three Block War principles with Network Centric Warfare concepts. They used the training concepts developed for the Three Block War and augmented them with the equipment developed for Network Centric Warfare. The result was tantamount to a human network centered on the small unit leader, the Strategic Corporal.read less