Doctrine and Training Implications
of Effects-based warfare
102. Air Vice-Marshal McNicoll told us that
he did not believe that the advent of network-centric operations
required a new doctrine. "What I do not think we need",
he said, "is a document entitled Network-Enabled Capability
This was partly unnecessary because the UK already had "a
well established doctrine structure".
Moving to an effects-based concept of operations, on the other
hand, and requirements for greater "agility", did mean
that as the technologies of network-enabled capabilities became
integrated into the UK's forces, they "will prompt another
significant change", though it was still too early to be
specific about what that might involve.
103. In respect of the necessary integration
between different levels of doctrine within the separate services
and the relationship of that to major allies with whom the UK
might expect to operate, particularly in this case, the United
States, Air Vice-Marshal McNicoll accepted that naval and air
forces are more easily fitted into network-centric frameworks,
both physically and doctrinally, since
[the] two services are more platform-centric,
if you like, joining them on a net is in some respects easier,
although it is technically challenging and quite expensive. The
problem with land forces is the range of individuals that you
will have to join up.
Naval and air forces also have had some 25 years
experience of networking and so the cultural challenges are not
as great as for land forces.
104. Though discussions are continuing between
the JDCC and the Director, Land Warfare, there is as yet no agreed
assessment of the implications for land forces doctrine of these
developments. As far as integration of doctrines between likely
allies is concerned, Mr Hugh Kernohan (responsible for New Chapter
implementation) told the Committee that effective operations between
allies are not necessarily impossible simply because relevant
doctrines do not match at the tactical level, as long as there
is compatibility and understanding at the operational or the strategic
levels. Tactical doctrines are driven partly "by the nature
of the equipment and technical capabilities".
Whilst we accept the logic of these propositions, we will monitor
the development of doctrine very closely in these areas since
most of it represents new frontiers in important aspects of military
105. Training is essential in modern warfare
and counter-terrorism alike. Doctrine is the formulation of principles
at appropriate levels of authority from which all training follows.
The process of translating doctrine into training is necessarily
protracted since new doctrines or changes in doctrinal principles
take some time to be explained, absorbed, and embedded in the
operational units who will give practical expression to the concepts.
We accept that the UK now has a reasonably efficient structure
to develop and embed doctrines at the various appropriate levels,
and translate them into training regimes. We are still concerned,
however, that the political and technical novelty of the developments
the Secretary of State has outlined, and which other witnesses
have elaborated, have taken some time to be addressed in a doctrinal
context. Relevant work is clearly underway, but so are the evolving
tactics of potential terrorists and those who would employ asymmetric
tactics against the UK and our Armed Forces.