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DATA: The Future of Warfare

Written by Emanuele Bussagli

Over the last twenty years, the importance of the latest weapons in modern warfare has been called into question. Indeed, it has been largely debated that victory in future high-intensity conflicts may no longer be contingent on who possesses the best warships, planes, and tanks (i.e., the best equipment) but rather on who can better handle information to act faster and more effectively than their adversary (Work & Fabian, Breaking Defense, 2021). Future wars are expected to be short, precise, and decisive. This new kind of warfare may require decisions to be made within hours, minutes or potentially seconds, compared with the current multi-day process to analyse the operating environment and issue commands. That is the reason why last May, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved the strategy document for the Defense Department’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control, paving the way to implement technology that shares data between the services to improve the quality and speed of tactical decision-making (Jasper, NextGov, 2021).