Monday, July 15, 2013

Modern Day Wizard War

"This was a secret war, whose battles were lost or won unknown to the public; and only with difficulty is it comprehended, even now, by those outside the small high scientific circles concerned.  No such warfare had ever been waged by mortal men.  The terms in which it could be recorded or talked about were unintelligible to ordinary folk.  Yet if we had not mastered its profound meaning and used its mysteries even while we saw them only in the glimpse, all the efforts, all the prowess of the fighting airmen, all the bravery and sacrifices of the people, would have been in vain." Winston Churchill1
World War II.  This "secret war", this "race for electronic superiority"2, this "Wizard War"3, as Winston Churchill so eloquently called it, led to the development and deployment of so many new technologies, it makes you wonder what great advancements of the 20th century may not have come to fruition had there not been the price tag of war.

The passage above reminded me of a quote I had to dig up from an article I read last year regarding the Great Green Fleet
"I don't believe it's the job of the Navy to be involved in building…new technologies. I don't believe we can afford it," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)4
While I will be the first to admit my lack of comprehensive understanding and ability to debate the Great Green Fleet, and at risk of breaching context, I do firmly question, how can we as the Navy, the IDC, afford not to be involved in the inception, the design, and the building of new technologies?

In this global, military domain of Cyberspace, the environment is more dynamic than ever before.  Having the capabilities that allow us to stay one step ahead of the adversary,  maintain an operational picture, ensure our own C2 while denying the same to our foe, requires great minds both in and out of the uniform to think about and solve hard problems.

For us in uniform, this field of "Operations Research" is, or should be, calling to all of us in our daily missions and actions.

For those big brains in civilian attire, Admiral King summed it up well while writing about his Antisubmarine Warfare Operations Research Group, or "Asworg" for short:
[They] formed an integral part of the Navy [but] remained civilians (...) to maintain the technical advantage over the navies of our enemies, which contributed so materially to the outcome of World War II.3
How are you paving the path for the success of future operations?

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