Accurate and up-to-date information have always been crucial to military operations. Nearly 2,500 years ago the great Chinese strategist Sun Tzu said, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated.——- “.
Since the first naval battle fought between the Greeks and Syracusans, naval warfare has gone through Wooden-Warship age, Sail-Warship age, Steamship age, Cannon age, uided Missile age and Electronic Warfare age and has entered into Information Warfare (IW) era.
In the information age, the influence of human nature in warfare has become ever significant. The factors of success in IW are no more the province of charismatic leaders or chance but network leadership. IW, human nature and leadership are inseparable entities in the present day warfare. Understanding well the nature of different peers (people) a net-centric leader can contribute towards the winning of hypo-real war. This paper is to discuss the influence of human nature and leadership on information warfare.
Concept of IW
IW may be defined as any action to deny, exploit, corrupt or destroy the enemy’s information and its functions; protecting ourselves against those actions and exploiting our own military information and functions. It encompasses any hostile activity directed against our knowledge and belief systems. Cyber war, the newest subset of IW, needs no’ battlefield: it is fought in cyberspace.
Cyberspace includes information itself, the communication nets that move it, and the computers that make it useful. Cyber war operations can blind us electronically and may change the definition of what is a hostile attack and what determines defeat or victoiy.
IW is not a new concept. Even the primitive peoples, armed only with bows and arrows, had a very real understanding of the value of information. From the primitive man to the man of our time, we can see that there has been an evolution in the amount of available information and the degree of dependence we have in relation to the infoimation that we do not control. Since 1960s the mass media could make a decisive impact on the political decision-making process.
The recent boom of computer and infoimation based network on the Worldwide market has led to an explosion of computer based technologies and capabilities. The Information Superhighway has reaped impressive benefits in linking all areas of the world. The linking of these information structures and expended reliance on computers is also sending shockwaves through the Armed Forces.
Today, the launch of nuclear tipped missiles might require minutes to detect, but information assault can be completed in seconds; and remain undetected until its consequences become painfully apparent. Failure to treat information assault as a potential threat could prove to be catastrophic.
The major feature of IW is that there is no need for weapons of physical destruction to conduct IW. Since information assumes visible form as data, most tools used in IW are of the non-violent type. Information age weapons are equalizers and can negate the principle of mass. Cyber war needs no battlefield and therefore no specially trained military organization. The initial offensive strike in a quiet cyber war would be hard to detect and to defend against.
IW emphasises control and seeks to paralyse. The tools of IW are limited numbers of inexpensive computers linked via Global Communication Systems. Knowledge is the ammunition of IW and it is inexhaustible. Knowledge diffuses and redistributes power to the weaker actors. It redraws boundaries and time and space horizons.
Concept of Human Nature
Sun Tzu made it clear that warfare is not about equipment or armies. It is about influencing peoples’ minds (human nature). Warfare is about achieving behaviour change and the highest art to accomplish that is to change it without a single shot being fired. Human Nature has become more significant in the present age of information era. Clear understanding of human nature has become obligatory for the commanders to shape the battle space in their favours. Human nature may be defined as the shared psychological attributes of humankind that are assumed to be shared by all human beings. Human nature is the fundamental nature and substance of humans, as well as the range of human behaviour. Human behaviour is believed to be invariant over long periods of time and across.
Different Cultural Contexts
Greek historian Thucydides argued that people were motivated by calculations of self-interest along with other non conscious factors like fear and honour. Emotion, stress, and hormones are important players in human decision making. Variations in their biological inheritance among different peoples affect the mechanisms involved in decisions making process. These biological factors and the way in which they vary from person to person can affect the political and military behaviour of the states.
The characteristics of the human brain are to some extent determined by heredity. Because of their differing hereditary factors different people process information differently. The ability to specify the ways in which different people make decisions differently enables us to deal with solving the problems of putting right man in the right place.
The human mind has functions and structures that are the result of genetic inheritance^ as well as its encounters with the environment. Human cognition is the product of the interaction of inherited functions and structures with the environment. The social environment can strengthen or weaken inherited mental predispositions, and inherited predispositions can shape the social environment.
Concept of Leadership
Leadership is about how we use the influence and trust that people grant us to define necessary change and shape the future direction of the organisation. Leadership is a key requirement across all levels within an organisation. The role of leaders is to constantly, and with large amounts of passion, communicate and raise the profile of meaning, articulating it in a manner that is easily understood and wholly relevant. Leaders inspire the imagination of followers and believers. Leaders provide their teams and the individuals with the strength and motivation to create and maintain momentum throughout the journey of achieving the vision, strategy and targets of any organisation.
The basis of leadership among Greek warriors was “A first among equals”. Such leadership was a product of a culture of equality and mutual accountability. The traditional concept of leadership was founded upon the concept of great man leadership model. In this concept individual qualities of the leader was important criteria. The presence of the leader was considered the decisive factor of winning the battle.
In NCW leadership is considered both as bom and nurtured. Here leadership is considered as a product of biological and environmental factors. The personality associated with leadership is compelling and growing. As the mental and physical capacities of individuals are widely varied their different leadership capacities are also vary innately. In NCW concept, leadership is a network effect that can result in highly responsive and effective leaders. If networked organisations can be designed for certain leadership roles and competencies that can be measured, evaluated, and improved upon, then leadership ceases to be an ineffable quality, but becomes a tangible asset that can be learned, improved upon, and replicated.
There are at least eight different kinds of leadership roles in a networked organisation.
The Exemplar or Alpha Members are the role models that others imitate. Sometimes their role can tye simply symbolic, even ceremonial, but they are nonetheless important in setting the tone and culture of the organisation.
The Gatekeeper Role is a combination of Truth-Teller, applying the standard for Admittance, and Enforcer, denying admittance to those parties that fail the test.
The role of the Visionary Leader is to imagine futures, determine what is limiting about the present, and show what is possible in the future. The visionary leader imagines plays a critical role in moving networked organisation in new directions.
The Truth-Teller entails the very challenging task of identifying free riders and cheaters. The truth telling goal is to provide authenticated and accurate reporting of the outcomes of missions.
The Fixer is an individual who knows how to get things done and measures him or herself not just by how many people they might know, but rather how they can get things done that others cannot.
The Connector maintains connection with a large and highly diverse number of members. They are known for having numerous friends, connections.
Enforcement can mean physical coercion, but more often entails psychological or peer pressure. Though force and military means are the enforcement methods of last resort, but are necessary in order to buttress other forms of enforcement. In order for a network to grow and evolve, it must be able to add new members and reach across network boundaries in order to do so. The facilitator creates communities or sub¬networks that provide the greatest form of network value.
Influence of Human Nature
The world is now in net-centric era. USA and allied forces are undoubtedly most incomparable force and is equipped with most sophisticated equipment and tactics. Then why they have failed in Iraq? Can all these high tech warfare and its all associated revolutions override a human nature; his brain, skills, competencies, moral, motivation etc? The answer is simply no.
Sun Tzu argued that “Winning 100 victories in 100 battles is not the exponent of excellence. Subjugating the opposing army without a fight is the true exponent of excellence.” How it can be achieved? Victory can be achieved without any bloodshed by exploiting human nature of both own forces and that of enemy. In the present high tech war where information plays a vital role the importance of human factors has been exemplified in many folds. What changes has taken place from industrial to information era? Laboratory based scientific explanations of how people think, behave and react are available now. Information collecting, processing and assimilation has become too fast and accurate.
Communication weapons have dominated the battle field. War has become highly technical and knowledge has become decisive factor. Psychological warfare has come to the front place. IW is not fully military in nature. It may involve civilian organisations also. Now let us examine what are the implications of these changes.
“Putting the right man in the right place” is the first challenge we are to meet in the information age. Psychological background plays a vital role here. Human nature influences the spirit of armed forces. Spirit can determine the outcome of war.
Understanding the human nature helps to reduce side effect of the mental activity of combatants, provides the psychological basis for sound decision making, develops subjective and objectives morale building factors and helps to predicts effect of the social psychology on war.
In spite of all the technological advances, the recurring question that has continued to echo through the halls of our castles alike since man began his violent journey into warfare is Who is the enemy? How he will fight? And most importantly how will we fight? The victory depends how best these questions could be answered. Clear understanding of human nature is essential to answer these questions and win the victory.
Influence of Leadership
The key to victory in war lies in human policy decisions rather than technology. Genuine advantage does not depend on the leading technology but on the leading ideas. History has given evidence to the fact when some new technology brings
mankind brightness, a shadow is cast simultaneously. Advanced electronic computers and information technology has linked society and the army to an integrated network; the result is very high efficiency and great fragility.
Success in future wars will require armed forces with open, adaptable organisations that can react more quickly to changes than can the competitors. The effective functioning of these organisations will depend on the fact how it is being led. Leadership was vital in the age of sail and will be vital in the future for outcome of any war.
Role of the leadership in the armed forces to guide his men to fight against the speed, precision and beyond comparisons lethality weapons with most precise; exactly on target, and unmatchable to any machines will be different in the information age. High tech environment brings large mental pressure on the leaders. Massive destruction causes threatening effect. The mental quality of the leaders in information age will be challenged under the disturbance of psychological attacks on their mental stability.
Age, physical structure, personality, knowledge and skills are all contributing factor for optimisation of leadership. In net centric warfare military leaders will have to perform multiple roles. It is unlikely for one leader to perform all roles with equal efficiency. It implies that command team needs to be formed to complement each others’ deficiency. The form of warfare is increasingly becoming informational, analytic, sense making and collaborative. Communication and interaction skills of leaders are becoming increasingly important. It implies that Napoleon leadership concept need to be moulded to face the new challenges. Then what are the new- challenges? There are basically four changes that have raised a set of profound challenges for military leadership:
Development of electronic and information technologies.
Changes in the environments, internal structures, and tasks of contemporary militaries. Entering into open systems, capable of being aligned in loose, modular forms of tempdrary frameworks.
Growing Complexity in the Roles of Military Leaders
To face these challenges military leadership needs new skills and capabilities. The new skills required of military commanders are: negotiation, liaison, persuasion and teamwork. In IW future commanders are represented less as leaders than as managers or engineers of information technology, who stay in a control room or vehicle, and are physically and socially distant from the majority of their troops.
The governing depiction of the “digitized” army or of computer warfare clearly deemphasises the social and human elements of the military, and presents a very “cold model of technical managers” in place of conventional military leaders. But a close studies on contemporary armed forces reveal the continued need for regular forces performing the conventional tasks.
The interaction between technological innovations and human and organisational features will eventuate in a less digitized military reality than that envisioned by the technologically driven scenarios. Military leaders can no longer depend only on authority, professional expertise or tactical ability. There is also a need for sensitivity, awareness, and a familiarity with the norms of the environment within which they operate.
The destructive power of the military is characterised by the existence of three major types of weapons that succeeded one another in importance within the age-old offensive versus defensive conflict: Obstruction Weapons, Destruction Weapons and Communication Weapons each of these types of weapons dominated a particular kind of confrontation: siege warfare, manoeuvre warfare and shock and awe.
The objectives of the wars were imposed by the predominant socioeconomic structures in the different epochs. Pre-industrial wars were generally materialised by the conquest and/ or control of territorial resources. Industrial- era wars had as their objective the reduction and limitation of the opponent’s production resources. Supposing that this analogy is valid, future wars will be fought to ensure control over data, information, and knowledge.
Accurate and up-to-date information have always been crucial throughout the transformation of naval warfare from wooden-warship age to Information
Warfare era. In the information age, the influence of two inseparable entities;human nature and leadership in warfare has become ever significant and a war winning factor. There has been an evolution in the amount of available information and the degree of dependence we have in relation to the information that we do not control. Information Superhighway along with expended reliance on computers has turned warfare into real hypo warfare.