Sie sind auf Seite 1von 10

White Paper

The Revolution in Military Affairs 2.0:

Information Dominance and the Democratization of


Information Technology

http://wso2.com

Version 1.2 (December 18, 2012)

White Paper
Table of Contents
03
Introduction ..........................................................................................................................................................................................
03
Doctrine .......................................................................................................................................................................................................
Industrial and Information Age Forces..........................................................................................................................04
Technology...........................................................................................................................................................................................05
Open Source Software................................................................................................................................................................06
10
Conclusion...............................................................................................................................................................................................

http://wso2.com

White Paper
Introduction
The startlingly efficient coalition victory during the 1991 Gulf War heralded the advent of a revolution
in military affairs (RMA). The RMA represented a sea change in the way military operations would be
conducted in the future. Technologies that allowed rapid information collection, analysis and dissemination
would receive equal if not greater emphasis relative to kinetic (weapon delivery and payload technologies).
During the majority of the last twenty-plus years, efficient military grade information technologies have
remained the province of comparatively few nations due to factors of complexity, availability and expense.
This de facto technological quarantine has largely evaporated over the last five or so years due to the
proliferation of powerful, lightweight and readily available integration and knowledge management tools
many of which are available under open source software licenses. These technologies have the potential to
create what is effectively RMA 2.0, marked by a global democratization of military information dominance
technologies. The remainder of this white paper will explore the intersection of doctrinal and technical
developments fueling RMA 2.0 and offer some thoughts on the benefits and way ahead for impacted
nations and organizations.

Doctrine
In 2003, David Alberts and Richard Hayes published the seminal work on modern command and
control (C2) doctrinal theory, Power to the Edge. Power to the Edge is not a technical work focusing
on communications and computing systems, nor is it a case study about modern C2 systems. Instead,
it describes the transition from the industrial age military to the information age military, and sets out
principles and goals toward that end. Edge elements of organizations are those that are responsible for
operational execution, and with whom the burden of ultimate success or failure ultimately lies. Pushing
power to the edge elements of an organization refers to that organizations ability to achieve a high
degree of operational agility through the provision, over a robust, networked grid, of timely relevant
C2 information that the edge elements can use to autonomously synchronize their actions to achieve
command intent. Power to the Edge has become the dominant information and management philosophy
in Western defense establishments, and to a lesser extent in those of Russia and China.
Key tenets of power to the edge philosophy are:
Providing information from which relevant situational awareness can be achieved rather than creating a
single operational picture;
Autonomously synchronizing operations instead of autonomous operations;
Information pull rather than broadcast information push;
Collaborative efforts rather than individual efforts;
Communities of Interest (COIs) rather than information stovepipes;
Sharing data rather than maintaining private data;
Persistent, continuous information assurance rather than perimeter, one-time security;
Capability on demand rather than allocated capability budgets;
Open standards rather than interoperable interfaces;
3
http://wso2.com

White Paper
Common enterprise services rather than separate infrastructures; and
Commerical-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) based, net-centric capabilities rather than customized, platformcentric stovepiped IT.

Industrial and Information Age Forces


Core technical requirements for achieving RMA 2.0 and pushing power to edge organizations in a
meaningful and timely manner center on the creation of both a communications infrastructure and C2
systems capable of supporting the necessary information dominance activities, including: Data transport,
aggregation, processing, dissemination, storage and display. For many years, the scope and breadth of
these requirements placed their implementation beyond the reach of all but the largest and most lavishly
funded defense organizations. (As an example, the United States, which began fielding a modern, robust
C2 capability in the early 1990s, has a defense research and development (R&D) budget that is larger than
the combined defense budgets of China, Russia, the United Kingdom and France combined.) Costs were
driven by the need to invest significantly in both basic research and proprietary commercial software
licenses and support. As a result, the RMA was unavailable to many global militaries for many years.
This resulted in the emergence of two discrete camps; on one side of the divide were forces that had
successfully exploited technology and transformed themselves into information age forces, while on the
other were forces marked by industrial age organizational and operating principles.
Both types of forces are marked by significant amounts of the traditional measures of combat power
(boots, bayonets, bombs, artillery, armor, aircraft, etc.). The difference lays in each organizations relative
effectiveness in meeting modern security challenges. Industrial age forces are optimized on principles of
decomposition, specialization, hierarchical organization, process optimization (the assumption that there
is a single best solution to every problem), sub-unit deconfliction, centralized planning and decentralized
execution. Organizations aligned according to these principles have great difficulty bringing the totality
of their information, assets and expertise to bear. As a result, they are hampered in terms of operational
agility and interoperability, perhaps the attributes most demanded by 21st century warfare. Additionally,
the cyclical planning and execution processes characteristic of industrial age forces are often inconsistent
with the current 24-hour information environment which often rapidly changes missions, goals and
objectives before the cycle can respond.
Complicating matters is the fact that industrial age forces embody siloed information sharing principles.
Organizational entities do not share information, or normally work, with those outside their silo. Worse,
their combat and information systems are designed and procured independently of one another and are
not designed to be interoperable. This all makes sense if the organizational whole is a simple sum of its
parts, and that synergies result from centralized planning. Unfortunately, centralized planning does not
work well in coalition or asymmetric warfare environments (where participants have complementary
objectives but different priorities, perspectives and constraints), which are more often the norm for 21st
century warfare than not.
By contrast, information age forces adopt a doctrine that empowers individuals at the point where the
organization interacts with its operating environment in order to shape, impact or otherwise effect
that environment. These individuals comprise edge organizations, and empowering the edge involves
expanding access to relevant and timely information and the elimination of unnecessary constraints.
Information age edge organizations typically have ready (but secured) access to information and expertise
free from the procedural constraints required by industrial age forces for purposes of deconfliction. Edge
4
http://wso2.com

White Paper
organizations also feature enhanced peer-to-peer sharing and the forward presence of decision makers,
eliminating the need for intermediate management and control measures. Commanders are empowered
to identify the desired behavioral effects of operations on the enemy rather than micromanaging the
intermediate operations creating the necessary physical impacts. Command intent is shared, resources are
allocated dynamically and the rules of engagement are set by command but implemented by edge forces.
When fully achieved, power to the edge doctrine results in self-synchronizing forces that achieve a level
of operational efficiency that cannot be matched by industrial age forces. More importantly, information
age forces are the only hedge nations will have against the increasing uncertainty, volatility, scope and
complexity associated with 21st century military operations.

Technology
The value proposition for the transformation of industrial age to information age forces is clear. However,
as noted earlier, the means to achieve this transformation have been limited in their availability due to
factors of basic research, the need for specialized hardware and costs associated with proprietary hardware
and software. Fortunately for those organizations seeking to transform their forces, conditions creating a
technical perfect storm have coalesced, setting the stage for RMA 2.0.
RMA 2.0 is marked by a number of features:
The proliferation of C2 doctrine and training;
The availability of low cost, highly capable commodity hardware; and
The emergence of world class open source software packages designed to support and promote
information processing and sharing.
Command and control theory, once exclusively the province of specialized military and government
think tanks has essentially been open sourced. The global commons is awash in C2 knowledge. A large
number of excellent scholarly publications discussing C2 theory and practice are available online and free
of charge, universities on at least four continents provide advanced courses in C2 and C2 concepts are
routinely incorporated into business best practices around the world. Organizations seeking to transform
along information age lines are the unintended beneficiaries of several decades of academic scholarship,
experimentation, documentation and the distillation of best practices.
The capability of commodity hardware has advanced to levels undreamed of by early C2 practitioners. As
an example, the Chinese telecommunications manufacturer ZTE has unveiled the prototype of a phone with
an eight core processor (the ARM15 MT6599) that supports a 1080p HD display and comes standard with a
13-megapixel camera. Put another way, ZTEs $300.00 pocket-sized Android phone will have approximately
an order of magnitude more computing power of the systems that were used to plan the airstrikes during
the first Gulf War and will either be on par with or more powerful than most of the commodity notebook
computing systems used for tactical operations in NATO militaries today. More important than inexpensive
computing power is the proliferation of wireless communications technologies. Plentiful, cheap and
secure, modern wireless communications offer the promise of robust, mobile tactical data networks at
bargain prices. The combination of networks and powerful, inexpensive computing devices creates a viable
method for extending tactical data communications to the lowest echelon organizations.

5
http://wso2.com

White Paper
Open Source Software
While the availability of C2 theory and cheap commodity hardware are important, the critical change
in the technical landscape for militaries seeking an information age transformation is the availability of
advanced, lightweight, performant and interoperable open source software providing everything from
operating systems to data storage, geospatial information systems, communications management, content
management, hardware clustering, data integration and real-time data processing capabilities. Its not
especially far-fetched to imagine the creation of a command and control front end using entirely open
source components. In fact, such a project was demonstrated at the George Mason University Command,
Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) Center in Fairfax, Virginia, USA in 2009. The
resulting product, the Battle Management Language Command and Control Graphical User Interface
(BMLC2GUI) was capable of both creating and displaying situational awareness information, reading/
writing orders and reports, and displaying a range of standard mapping products as well as military
symbology.
Historically, defense solutions have focused on government developed proprietary software. This has
shifted over time to an emphasis on commercial proprietary software. Both these solution paths share
similar pitfalls, including: Significant licensing expense, an expectation that final products will ship with
significant coding errors which will be corrected through an institutionalized patching process and long
development times and periods between updates. These challenges were historically tolerated due to the
perception that there were unique operational and security requirements and a lack of useful alternatives.
As Eric Raymond explains in his seminal work The Cathedral and the Bazaar, open source software, by
its nature, addressed many of these concerns. There are no licensing costs, and the early provision of
capability is prioritized over coding perfection, with the community providing both robust quality assurance
and potential solutions that are implemented both rapidly and efficiently. (During the latter part of Linux
development, Linus Torvalds was posting more than one release a day!)
In the late 2000s, Defense communities around the world recognized the promise of open source software,
and took steps to ensure institutional acceptance. For example, in 2007, the US Department of the Navy
(DON) issued guidance specifying that open source software was equivalent to COTS with respect to
acquisition decisions. Two years later, in 2009, the US Department of Defense (DoD) issued a landmark
memorandum that recognized open source advantages, and, importantly, declared open source software to
be commercial software that was equivalent in kind and type to proprietary software.
There are a number of open sources packages powering defense applications for both the US and NATO.
Examples (in addition to WSO2 components such as the ESB and Identity Server) include (but are not
limited to): Mozilla Firefox, Google Android, Apache Tomcat, Linux, PostgreSQL, Drupal, Apache Hadoop
and NASA World Wind. Of these, the last is particularly interesting as it represents an emerging open
source market, that of government developed open source software. The entry of government entities into
the open source marketplace is indicative of the high level of acceptance open source software now enjoys
in defense and military circles.
Open source softwares low cost, strong quality assurance and rapid cycle time provide critical
programmatic advantages for government programs that simply cannot be matched by proprietary
software.
The real power of open source software for C2 applications, however, lies in the middleware space, where
data is collected from disparate sources and applications, processed and manipulated to provide essential
situational awareness to the right consumers at the right time based on rules reflecting an organizations
6
http://wso2.com

White Paper
priorities, training and doctrine. These enterprise level integration technologies offer great promise not
only for nations aspiring to transform their forces along information age lines, but also for countries that
invested heavily in earlier, proprietary C2 solutions that are now finding the sustainment burden to be too
onerous. The promise of these modern, open source middleware offerings is the ability to harness the
inexpensive yet powerful hardware and dedicated C2 applications to push power to the edge. Open source
middleware is the transformative technology. These tools will allow seamless processing and distribution
of information that provide edge organizations with the abilities to:
a. Make sense of the situation;
b. Work in a coalition environment with both military, non-military government and non-government
partners;
c. Rapidly identify the appropriate means to respond to given situation; and
d. Orchestrate responses in a timely manner.
The WSO2 Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Platform is an excellent example of a complete middleware
offering with applications to the defense domain in general and the C2 space in particular. The platform
consists of sixteen discrete products sharing a common core, each of which is optimized for a particular
role. The products, their roles and applications within the C2 space are described in the table below:

Product

Carbon

API Manager

Application Server

Role

C2 Application

Integrated environment
containing common common
capabilities shared by all
WSO2 components, including
a built-in registry, OSGi bundle,
service and user management,
transports, security, logging,
clustering, caching and
throttling services, and a GUI
console.

Core platform capabilities for


C2 information handling and
distribution.

Solution for publishing APIs,


creating and managing a
developer community and for
scalably routing API traffic.

Self-service application
extensions for C2 systems,
allowing users to extend and
configure system capabilities
at will from a repository of
approved services.

Best of breed open source


technologies for Web
applications, Web services
and mobile, to easily share
business logic, data, and
process across the entire IT
ecosystem.

Execution environment
in which C2 applications
from various sources and
vendors can execute and run
interoperably.

7
http://wso2.com

White Paper
Monitors system metrics
and key business indicators,
reporting out via a set of user
configurable dashboards.

Near real time monitoring


and reporting capability for
operational data. Can support
alerting and notifications
based on organizationally
defined priorities.

Enables easy deployment of


business processes written
using the WS-BPEL standard,
and also serves as the business
process management and
hosting environment for your
SOA.

Allows the rapid and


configurable specification and
deployment of warfighting
processes within fielded
systems, promoting agile
responses to changing
conditions.

Storage and maintenance of


business rules.

Operational rules repository


enabling deployed systems
to reflect organizational and
national processes, priorities
and rules.

Identifies the most meaningful


events within the event cloud,
analyzes their impacts, and
acts on them in real time.

Real time operational data


analysis and response
mechanism. Capability to
distribute orders and alerts
ased on organizational,
tactical or strategic priorities.
Amalgamation of sensor data
to provide real time tactical
decision aid information.

Data Services Server

Supports secure and managed


data access across federated
data stores, data service
transactions, and data
transformation and validation
using a lightweight, developer
friendly, agile development
approach.

Integration of legacy data


stores for organizations in
transition; promotion of data
interoperability.

Elastic Load Balancer

Provides fail-over, auto-scaling


and multi-tenancy allowing
services to scale automatically
with dynamically changing
load characteristics.

Provides system runtime


governance, ensuring that
fielded systems meet required
reliability, maintainability and
availability goals.

Business Activity Monitor

Business Process Server

Business Rules Server

Complex Event Processor

8
http://wso2.com

White Paper
Data transport, transform and
mediation capabilities.

Ensures loose coupling


between system components,
which in turn reduces the
maintenance and sustainment
burden while improving
reliability.

Dashboard that allows custom


views of an organizations
data.

Enables commanders to
define a custom tactical data
dashboard.

Supports SOA Governance,


configuration governance,
development process
governance, design and runtime governance, lifecycle
management, and team
collaboration.

Enables warfighting process


workflow management,
integrating the approval
and action chain and
enforcing human in the loop
requirements, collaboration
tools, and system lifecycle
management.

Sophisticated security and


identity management of
enterprise Web applications,
Web services, and APIs.

Supports migration to
attribute based access
control (mandated by US
DoD CIO) and authentication/
authorization based security
mechanisms.

Open standard wire protocol


enterprise messaging available
to facilitate messaging
via client applications
across various widely used
programming languages.

Enables interoperability of
C2 components, services
and applications supplied by
different vendors.

Supports key WS-*


specifications and provide
the base communication
functionality in SOAP, XML,
JSON and other message
formats carried over various
transports including HTTP,
SMTP, XMPP and TCP. They are
fully tested for interoperability
with .Net, and JEE
implementations and support
high availability deployments.
Available for C, C++ and PHP.

Fundamental system building


block.

Enterprise Service Bus

Gadget Server

Governance Registry

Identity Server

Message Broker

Web Services Framework forPHP

9
http://wso2.com

White Paper
Conclusion
The transformation of industrial age forces to information age forces leveraging command and control
mechanisms that have long been an elusive goal. This need not be the case any longer. The organizing
principle of power to the edge, representing an information age approach to C2 now has a readily available,
affordable computing infrastructure. The combination of infrastructure and organizing principles places
transformation within reach for all.

About WSO2
WSO2 is the lean enterprise middleware company. It delivers the only complete open source enterprise
SOA middleware stack purpose-built as an integrated platform to support todays heterogeneous enterprise
environmentsinternally and in the cloud. WSO2s service and support team is led by technical experts who have
proven success in deploying enterprise SOAs and contribute to the technology standards that enable them.

Check out more WSO2 Whitepapers and WSO2 Case Studies.

For more information about WSO2 products and services,


please visit http://wso2.com or email bizdev@wso2.com
10
http://wso2.com