Rethinking the Information Paradigm

By Col. Herbert C. Kemp

Over the course of several decades, the US Air Force intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) enterprise has undergone a remarkable transformation as it has evolved from a forward deployed industrial age operation to a globally networked information age operation.

The enterprise has enjoyed great success since September 2001, particularly with respect to distributed operations in support of the United States’ counterterrorism operations.

However, rapidly changing trends in the lethality of future air defense environments, the challenges to long haul datalinks in contested environments, and the accelerating avalanche of data in modern combat all point to the need for the ISR enterprise to undergo another revolution to meet the demands of 21st century multi-domain warfare.

This paper traces the evolution of the ISR enterprise to its present form, explores the evolving challenges and technologies a ecting both the enterprise and the future operating environment, and offers potential avenues of modernization to meet the needs of a very challenging future.

Rethinking the Information Paradigm (PDF)

Rethinking the Information Paradigm