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Battlefield Metrics Key in Transformation Effort

By K.L. Vantran
American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., June 23, 2004 – DoD needs to be organized according to the metrics used on the battlefield, said the director of the Defense Department's Office of Force Transformation here June 22.

This includes organizational change as well as change in equipment, retired Navy Vice Adm. Arthur K. Cebrowski told military and industry officials at the Joint Warfare: Transformation and New Requirements conference.

Commanders have always been concerned with three critical areas on the battlefield communications, intelligence and logistics that are key in the military's transformation journey. There must also be a shift in focus, noted Cebrowski.

"We have to be more than responsive," he said. "We have to be preventative. We also must realize it's not just stopping an event. Rather, it's a 24-7 job just ask the troops in Iraq. It's about keeping the world system up and running."

Homeland security, noted the admiral, is not something that should be left for police departments anymore. The United States, he continued, has always been strategically defensive. But by virtue of geography and the types of threats, the nation has been operationally offensive. Change, said Cebrowski, will be "hard for us. We believe in defending ourselves by going on the offense."

"We're the ones who create surprise for others," he added. "Now, the concern is the other way around. How do we avoid strategic surprise?"

Cebrowski said part of the answer lies in taking a look at metrics and ensuring they are both appropriate to the age and relevant for the times.

"We are in rapidly changing times, with an enormous degree of uncertainty," he said. "Because the threat is diverse, there is a great benefit to be able to create and sustain options. This means to give up the notion of the 'one best' system."

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Biographies:
Vice Adm. Arthur K. Cebrowski, USN Retired

Related Sites:
Department of Defense Transformation



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