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Expectations of the info-value: the return of tactics

Land Forces Doctrine Review
General tactics
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Technology alone cannot win the war, but it can help us to win. Technology, which is the most important element in the battles fought by Western armies, is constantly evolving and we have always tried to surpass our opponents in this field. Without being techno-dependent, we have historically relied on material means to facilitate our engagements. However, the permanent appreciation of the leader is always the essence of our tactical success. It is therefore a question of being able to make the best use of possible of the technique but knowing how to do without it.

Information literacy will be essential in our future confrontations. The "knower" will have the advantage over the "ignorant". Acquiring information about the environment, our enemy and our own resources is becoming easier and easier. Automated systems relay this information to the relevant actors. The difficulty is no longer so much to obtain this data as to be able to analyse and classify it so as to be able to use it in time. The aim remains "useful knowledge".
Without revealing sensitive data, we can affirm that technological advances will enable us in five to ten years time to make the most of the information available. The mass of accessible data will be processed, disseminated at the right time and to the right people, ultimately to support our fighters. This information will enable us, among other things, to increase the dispersion of our pawns in the field and to become part of the enemy's system. In addition, the leader will be able to concentrate on his command task since he will be relieved of a whole series of tedious and "time-consuming" reports.

Finally, the support manoeuvre will be much more fluid and responsive. Thanks to the perfect knowledge of the needs of the units in contact, support and sustainment can be anticipated, just enough, at the most opportune moment, slowing down the manoeuvre to a minimum. Nevertheless, these are only tools to facilitate our commitments. without fundamentally changing the way we fight. These means will be at our service to gain the ascendancy over our opponent but will never be indispensable for victory.


The safety of a device depends, among other things, on the geographical dispersion of its components. This scattering of pawns in the field also helps to maintain surprise about possible intentions . Indeed, a mass formation reveals a future action at a precise location, whereas in the case of a fragmented device, the uncertainty as to the future action is not as great as in the case of a fragmented device. to the main effort remains total.
Today, knowing one's precise location is no longer a fantasy. Geo-referenced systems allow us to move around without having to stop at every crossroads to check our position on the map. This has considerably speeded up our movements and therefore the manoeuvre. There is no longer, a priori, any navigational error. The evolution offered by the info value lies above all in the automatic sharing of these friendly positions. In the past, it was common for an insecure subordinate to remain "glued" to his boss for fear of losing him. A permanent grouping of elements who wanted to avoid being isolated was common. What tactical leader, regardless of his
level, did not have to order a subordinate to "keep his distance"? Since no one knew for sure where his neighbour was, everyone felt the need to stay together. From the moment everyone has, in real time, the position of each friendly pawn, this need for grouping disappears. The possibility to support or a neighbour is made much simpler and is only binding in the travel times that are perfectly known. This allows us to envisage a much greater dispersion, which increases the safety of the device and allows us to maintain the surprise on our intentions. Moreover, the concentration of efforts to deliver a fatal blow to our opponent, can be done at the last moment and very quickly, without any navigational problems to regroup. This notion of distance between elements will, in spite of everything, always remain linked to the possibilities of mutual support.


To gain the upper hand over our opponent, we must make his understanding of the battlefield more complicated and therefore his manoeuvre more difficult than ours.

Thanks to info-enhancement, deep embedding within an enemy device will be possible. Whenever one of our soldiers observes a suspicious point or an enemy, he will transmit this information... in real time to his neighbors, subordinates and bosses. We will all have then of a common map with our positions but also with those supposed and observed at a given moment of the enemy. We will be able to so map the enemy. This information, continuously updated, will allow us to permanently discriminate between friend and foe. Fratricidal fire can thus be limited. The supporting element will occupy the right position and, in addition, it will be able to adjust or stop the effects it produces if it realizes that there is a risk to the supported element. This will allow for in-depth nesting within the enemy device. In other words, our elements will be dispersed as close as possible to our opponent, which will make his reading of the battlefield more blurred and thus his more laborious maneuver. Once again, this will guarantee our safety while preserving the surprise of our action until the last moment.

The chief increased

The maneuver remains paramount to victory. It is based on the appreciation of a leader, carried out continuously and based on the study of various factors: his mission, the terrain, the enemy and his means.

Thanks to info-value, leaders have a tactical synthesis with constantly updated information on these factors of appreciation. This data is synthesized and transmitted automatically, via a common language at all tactical levels, with no loss of time for the preparation and dissemination of situational awareness points or reports. Each level can therefore concentrate on analysing this information without devoting too much energy or attention to related drafting tasks.

The chief can command from the front, from the field, with complete, reliable and up-to-date information. In addition to knowing the position of his elements and his neighbours, he is informed about the enemy's possibilities, the value of the terrain, the attitude of the population and the state of its means. He is therefore better informed (increased) to be able to make his decisions and to anticipate changes or adapt the articulation of his troops.
These contributions will only be exploitable if a great freedom of action is left to subordinates in the execution of the manoeuvre. Constantly aware of the intentions of their leaders, subordinates must be able to show initiative and exploit every tactical opportunity.

The manoeuvre of support and backing

The information is shared by all and therefore allows us to anticipate needs. The maneuver will be more fluid and the action of support weapons facilitated. In concrete terms, as soon as a gun is fired, a count of available ammunition will automatically be known to the logisticians. The state of health of the vehicle will be known to maintenance. Logistics will therefore also be impacted by these permanent exchanges of information. Thanks to a better knowledge of the operational capability of units, the support will be able, for example, to switch its efforts into resources more quickly. Logistics will be able to anticipate unit requirements more easily and switch from "constraint" to "power factor". Moreover, by having a clear view of the units' actual capabilities, designations for future missions will be made on the basis of concrete and objective elements.

For example, as soon as a melee element detects and reports an enemy position, this information will be directly and automatically accessible by the supporting weapons. The artillery will almost instantly have the necessary information to locate a target and deliver the required effects. Implementation times will therefore be extremely shortened, even though the fire validation chain will still be necessary. In this model where troops will be dispersed as much as possible, nested within the enemy device and in which friendly-enemy discrimination will be possible, the use of indirect fire could constitute the bulk of the enemy's destruction. The rapid concentration of effects will be more effective than that of means.


The few advantages of the info value described above should only be don't let us think we won't be able to win without it. Having valuable information will make our work easier without our dependence on it. The leader will always have to command on sight and not behind a screen. His voice on the radio and his presence on the front line will always reassure or motivate the hesitant subordinate. This tactical link is paramount. The different lines of coordination will always make it possible to avoid fratricidal fire and will always guarantee the overall coherence of the manoeuvre even in the event of of systems failure. Hardiness and warrior spirit will be the key to success. always the foundations of the fighter who will still have to be able to defeating your opponent in close combat, eye to eye.
To avoid any techno-dependence, it will be essential to maintain very high standards of education and training. It will be necessary to master the basics of tactics without technological input before instructing our personnel on this new equipment. We will then not speak of a "degraded" solution when the technology does not follow but of an "optimised" solution when it brings us appreciable help. It will be a question of making the best use of what the technology offers us, without leaving the unique advantage to the adversary, all the more so as we will be able to make the best use of the new technology. preparing to be deprived of it.


By 2025-2030, technology will inevitably lead to an evolution in the way of fighting on the battlefield. Without revolutionizing the art of warfare, infotainment will allow us to win and maintain the ascendancy over our opponents.
A greater dispersion of our troops in the field, guaranteeing our safety, will allow us to maintain surprise about our intentions. Moreover, the interlocking within the enemy's apparatus will make possible a decentralized maneuver in the depths, marked by an alternation of dispersion and concentration of a more agile mass.

The leader, better informed through "useful knowledge" rather than "more knowledge", will be able to base his decisions on a more complete appreciation and, helped by automation of related tasks, will be able to focus on on his primary role: to lead from the front!
Finally, joint and combined arms coordination and support manoeuvre will be strengthened, providing an opportunity for these players to fulfil their essential roles in the manoeuvre.
Nevertheless, we must not forget our fundamentals. Technique will never take precedence over tactics. They are only tools. We'll always be able to win without this equipment, which is valuable but not indispensable. Let's not be afraid of these developments, but let's learn to master them to make sure we win in the end.

Title : Expectations of the info-value: the return of tactics
Author (s) : Major breveté d’état-major (BEL) Frédéric THIRY, Officier inséré au sein de la section exploration doctrinale, CDEC