Modern militaries have never enjoyed such a high level of communications and data awareness. The ability for information to flow up and down the chain of command is unprecedented; some would say unlimited.
Modern militaries have never seen such a high level of micro-management of tactical actions. The ability of upper levels of command to see down to small unit tactical levels and take control is unprecedented; many would say with generally disastrous consequences.
These two elements of command and control are always in tension. Too often, in the
military, the temptation to pre-empt the local commander and micro-manage smaller units wins out. U.S.
|Pearl Harbor - Failure of Command|
So, is this the end of this post? A statement of the obvious? No! Curiously, another local commander who possessed no more, and in all probability a great deal less, specific information came to the exact opposite conclusion than the Pearl Harbor commanders and put his conclusion into action. I’m talking about Adm. William (Bull) Halsey. As documented by Steve Ewing (1), on the evening of
28-Nov-41 Battle Order Number One was issued by Halsey and stated, in part,
is now operating under war conditions. Enterprise2. At any time, day or night, we must be ready for instant action.…8. Steady nerves and stout hearts are needed now.”
|Adm. Halsey - Local Command|