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Modern Joint Operations
--Interview with the Professor of National Defense University,Col.Thomas E.Smith 访美国国防大学教授托马斯•史密斯上校
MR.CHEN BOJIANG: What is the defining concept or the exact meaning of Joint Operation1? What is the difference between Joint Operation and Multi Services and Arms Cooperation2?
COL. SMITH: To me the big difference is that in true joint operations we're talking about an integration of capabilities and it's not simply several services participating. The participation must be more than that. It must involve integration of the capabilities to take advantage of3 the synergistic4 effect that you achieve by combining capabilities. By the same token5, those who urge some caution about jointness-- that jointness is not always the answer to every circumstance, that perhaps you can try to achieve too much jointness at the expense of your capabilities as individual services. This certainly needs a lot more exploration6 .The basic functions of services are relatively traditional functions. We have had some discussions in our classes about whether these functions should be consistent or whether they need to change. It seems to most people that those are fairly consistent functions. And so the question is whether with new technology application, those functions can be done in a way that is different enough to make them distinctly different from what we are used to or have been used to in the past.
MR. CHEN: How will the legacy7 systems be dealt with during the process of achieving Joint capabilities? Is it possible to improve them and employ them in new and different ways?
COL. SMITH: Well, yes. I think it is. I think that legacy systems will first of all remain important although in some cases become less important, but it is always a mix of old and new systems. And it is very difficult, if not impossible, to change a military completely without dealing with legacy systems. Nor would you want to do that, I would argue. Some people have used the analogy8 of the tip of the spear as being the high-tech9, most capable force,but many other forces remain as part of the spear,still useful in many other operations. There are probably two thoughts here--one that there are types of operations for which legacy systems are still very useful--whether they be operations other than war, smaller conflicts, or fighting against a less capable enemy. And then the other piece is that many of those systems can still play a very useful role even with your higher-tech forces. For example, to some, the army's efforts to digitize the current force can be seen as essentially applying new technologies to old systems. But perhaps it is a way to transition some of those legacy systems with new ideas into newer systems in the future. But obviously they still can remain extremely useful in the interim.
MR. CHEN: In future Joint Operations,how will former operational arts such as Centers of Gravity10 and Decisive Points11, Simultaneity and Depth12, Timing and Tempo13, and so forth, change?
COL.SMITH:I think that most of those concepts first of all will still be extremely valid14, but in fact there may be some changes in centers of gravity--perhaps some of the centers of gravity may be different. And there might be, back to the information operations, different ways of attacking those centers of gravity, Timing and tempo are terms that we use frequently and we think are very important in the sense of 15 relative advantage of one side over the other. As for tempo of operations, normally the faster you can conduct simultaneous and coherent operations, the better, although there are those who caution that faster is not always better. There may be times when operation tempo is too fast. One example is whether it is too fast for political decision makers to ensure that the military instrument is being used effectively to achieve political objectives, and not simply to destroy things or to conduct warfare for warfare's sake16. And at the same time, from a military standpoint17, there may be reasonable limitations on how fast operations could be done and how comprehensive those operations can be in a theater of warfare18.The point I'm making is there still may have to be some sequential19 aspects of an operation,that you can't do everything at once everywhere. So I think there's much to be explored in those areas. And I'm an advocate of experimentation and war-gaming and exercises to try to understand how the operational art might be changing based on new concepts and new technology.
MR. CHEN: How do you view the complexity of command and control in joint operation? Along with the development of information technology,it is likely that command and control will become both centralized20 and decentralized21.How can centralized and decentralized command and control be effectively combined in practice?
COL. SMITH: We imply that there will be a significant increase in centralization necessary to conduct long-range strikes with a system of systems. By the same token,we are saying that potentially the smaller,fast moving forces will have to be decentralized to a significant degree in order for them to accomplish their missions very quickly and perhaps get out of an area if they need to do that. So there might be, as the question seems to indicate, some almost contradictory22 aspects. I think that is really one of the central issues for command and control,and I think we're going to have to somehow strike a balance between the two in the sense that there are practical limitations to the effectiveness of centralization, for example, in terms of having a system that controls where fighters are going to go and which platform fires and at what time. There will need to be a certain amount of that in order to get fire on target quick enough and to hit the target, and there's no way to really totally automate that--to take the man out of the loop, as some people say, and still provide the kind of effectiveness that the people on the ground will need. Again, an area that I would say needs some experimentation and practice to really see what the technology will permit23. And I think it goes back to the man in the loop, in terms of how people can then deal with what the technology potentially has the capability of doing.

Practice Listening to words词汇听力练习:
1.Joint Operation 联合作战
2.Multi-Services and Arms Cooperation 多军兵种协同作战
3.take advantage of 利用
4.synergistic [] adj协同的,协同作用
5.by the same token 同样的
6.exploration[]n. 探索
7.legacy[]n. 遗产
legacy systems 现有(或陈旧)系统
8.analogy[] 类推
9.high-tech 高技术
10.Centers of Gravity (作战艺术中的)重心
11.Decisive Points (作战艺术中的)决定点
12.Simultaneity and Depth (作战艺术中的)同时和纵深
13.Timing and Tempo (作战艺术中的)时机和节奏
14.valid [] adj. 有效的
15.in the sense of 在……意义上
16.sake [] n. 缘故
17.standpoint [] n. 立场,观点
18.theater of warfare 战区作战
19.sequential [] adj.连续的,顺序的
20.centralize [] vi. 集中
21.decentralize [] n. 分散
22.contradictory [] adj. 矛盾的
23.permit [] vt. 允许


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