Maj OZAIR AHMED goes over the development of
software and how information warfare and technology
will affect the future course of battle


Software is likely to change military balances in the world. Today weapons systems are mounted on, or delivered by what the jargon calls 'platform'. It is said that cheap low-tech platforms if equipped with smart software can enable poor and small nations to deliver hi-tech Smart Fire Power. Stupid bombs can often have their IQ raised by Software soldiers, mostly civilians. On the other hand, one of the Silicon Valley's great secrets is stealing human capital from Third World. As such, clever knowledge strategist may pay more attention to knowledge procurement in future.

Carried out in depth study of concept of knowledge warrior and software soldiers to guide the development and use of information technology in general and software in particular in Pakistan with special emphasis on measures to convert existing low-tech platforms into hi-tech smart systems.


This research paper is based on the idea of using latest trends in knowledge processing in military environment by upgrading our presently held system and weapon platforms. This can only be achieved by studying the problem in depth. At the core of the idea was the term Knowledge Strategy coined by Duane Andrews while describing and analysing strategic assets of a nation. The capacity of imposing leverage on enemy to affect his decision by use of own superior knowledge is the basic strategic asset and the doctrine being formed emerges as the knowledge strategy. It is the strategy for acquisition, procurement, storage, processing, distribution and protection of knowledge.

During the acquisition or procurement phase, we come across the Silicon Valley's Great Secret which is to hunt the talent and buy it for own use, these intellectuals so procured are the nation's Knowledge Warriors. Next phase of storage and processing requires a different breed of computer specialists who will program, process and operate the military hardware and software behind the scene, these would be the nation's other asset Software Soldiers.

Developed nations' approach may be more methodical but requires ample time for research and development. We as an under-developed nation cannot afford to invent concepts by ourselves, we need to transfer the technology and reverse engineer existing state-of-the-art equipment. Our existing low-tech platforms will then be upgraded and converted into hi-tech platforms.


The purpose of this paper is to present a clear picture of the facts about latest development in electronic and information warfare, the introduction of the new concept of knowledge warfare and analysing it's components in detail. It is also one of the targets of this paper to clearly define and distinguish between talent hunt and technology transfer, the strategy of super powers and meagre efforts of undeveloped nations in getting to know the technological advancements in the military spectrum.

The reader may desire to be guided through all these aspects and evolution of knowledge warfare before recommending means to convert low-tech platforms to hi-tech platforms. The paper was started with the definitions of all the important terms he might come across in this research paper, this is aimed at making the technical jargon easy to understand at a later stage.

The research was carried out mostly through study of books, articles and latest magazines on military technology. The library of Staff College was of great help in compilation of this paper, without which this work could never have been possible. It will also be worthwhile to mention the guidance of Directing Staff who provided valuable comments and constructive criticism at almost every step of formation of this paper. Lastly I want to thank my colleagues from different arms and services from present Staff Course who helped me in identification of low-tech platforms in our Army.



"Knowledge must become capability"
Carl Von Clauswitz

1. The days are gone when soldiers used to fight on the force of will and power of arm, now is the era of a different kind of war, the third wave war, a step even ahead of the arm race. We want our weapons now to be intelligent enough to replace man at most of the decision critical stages. Man has other important decision making to do, lest to involve in the precision of his hit. We are now rather trying to concentrate on acquiring reliable and accurate information by automated means to make our hit probability cent-percent. Why should the soldier be aiming manually and still missing his hit, why can't a Software Soldier make this dream a reality by sitting miles away and controlling a bulk of weapons by a treasure of information.

2. This paper will define the technical jargon at understandable level for a novice reader before embarking on the critical task of analysing the knowledge mechanism in military war. Once the subject is understood, we will concentrate on the use of this knowledge and ways to improve our own knowledge and software base. Constantly zooming in towards our ultimate topic, the concepts of Knowledge Warrior and Software Soldier are not only defined but also indicated are the ways to make our own work force on the lines of other nations. Lastly the ways and means to convert our low-tech platform to a high-tech one are analysed and recommendations offered accordingly.

3. Aim. The aim of this research paper is to carry out a detailed study of the concept of Knowledge Warrior and Software Soldier, development and use of information technology and military software with a view to suggest measures to convert existing low-tech platforms into hi-tech smart systems.

4. Scope. Scope of this study is:-

a. To make the reader understand the mechanics of information warfare and knowledge strategy.

b. Emphasis on procurement and processing of knowledge based systems.

c. Latest developments on information technology and software development that can be indigenously achieved.

d. Identification and conversion of existing weapon platforms to latest, intelligent and smart systems.



4. Some of the terms which will be commonly referenced in this research paper are being defined here :-

a. Cyberspace1. Cyberspace is a virtual space on international network linking information resources world-wide. In military terms, try to know all about an adversary while keeping it from knowing much about oneself. It means turning the 'balance of information and knowledge' in one's favour, especially if the balance of forces is not. In civilian economy, using knowledge so that less capital and labour may have to be expended.

b. Electronic Warfare2. Armed forces employing modern weapons depend upon a web of electronic systems to carry out the vitally important tasks of C31 using radios, radars, infra-reds and laser systems for surveillance, target acquisition and designation, and weapon guidance.

c. Information Warfare. By judicious and intelligent use of information turning the 'balance of information and knowledge' in one's favour, especially if the balance of forces is not.

d. Information Doctrine. Discussion on the details of electronic warfare, strategic assets and knowledge warfare evolve a doctrine for information management within resources generally termed as 'Information Doctrine'.

e. Information Technology. To store and process information in huge quantities.

f. Information Terrorism3. Information if in wrong hands can be used for terrorism. Developing nations not investing in research and development may set on acquiring technology by wrong and illegal means for the purpose of threatening the world with their terrorist designs.

g. Knowledge Strategy4. A systematic,capstone concept of military yet not fully in vogue will be dictated by :-

(1) Acquisition/procurement of knowledge.

(2) Storage and processing of data.

(3) Distribution to relevant destinations.

(4) Protection of information.

h. Knowledge Warrior5. Intellectuals in and out of uniform dedicated to the idea of knowledge can win, or prevent, wars.

i. Net Assessment6 . Weighing the relative strength of opposing military forces.

j. Strategic Asset7 . It is not just a matter of battlefield intelligence or tactical attacks on the other side's radar or telephone networks, but a powerful lever capable of altering high-level decisions by the opponent.

k. Platform. Today weapon systems are mounted on or delivered by what the jargon calls platforms. A platform can be a missile, a plane, a ship, or even a truck.

l. Smarts. The gimmicks in software that can transform a Second Wave military hardware into a more efficient Third Wave instrument of war.

m. Smart Armies8. Armies that research and acquire first hand knowledge of Third Wave instrumentation.

n. Smartened Armies9. Armies that steal the know-how acquired by smart armies and put them to their own military use in an unfair manner.

o. Smart Software . The new generation software based on artificial intelligence that can perceive and decide logically amongst list of possible choices of decisions. Such software if used in conjunction with military hardware can give an IQ to dumb weaponry like guidance systems.

p. Software Soldier. Software soldiers, usually civilians, working behind the scene, process, analyse and distribute data to the fighting soldier in the battlefield.

q. Strategic Brain Drain10. Military knowledge strategists of advanced nations develop sophisticated, long-range policies to such certain kind of brain-power out of target countries and transfer it to their own. Such migration of intellect is known as strategic brain drain.




5. Waves of War

a. 1st Wave War11. First Wave bore the unmistakable stamp of the first wave agrarian economies that gave rise to them, not in technological terms alone but in organisation, communication, logistics, administration, reward structures, leadership styles and cultural assumptions. Starting with the very invention of agriculture, every revolution in the system for creating wealth triggered a corresponding revolution in the system for making war.

b. 2nd Wave War12. The Industrial Revolution launched the second wave of historical change. That Wave transformed the way millions of people made a living. And war once more mirrored the changes in wealth, creation and work. Just as mass production was the core principal of industrial economies, mass destruction became the core principal of industrial-age warfare. It remains the hallmark of second wave war.

c. 3rd Wave War13. The third wave war is focused on information warfare with due technological advancement at hand. Today the machine tool that counts most is the software used to manufacture software. Third wave militaries place a massive emphasis on training and education at every level. Adding commercially available Third Wave Smarts to old, Second Wave weapons can transform them into intelligent weapons at peanut prices that even improvised armies can afford. Thus today's smart armies will find themselves faced by tomorrow's smartened armies.

6. Command and Control14. With the technological advancement in weapons, equipment, sensors and communication, command and control has become complex as well as reliable and trust-worthy. The complexity of problem is resolved by communications and automatic data processing (ADP). This introduction of communications greatly affected the soul of C2 and crept in very silently to make it C3-Command, Control and Communications. Intelligence was the next candidate to complete a new concept in modern warfare of C31.

7. Information Doctrin. To handle information in battlefield is not only an art but a regular science in itself requiring to be governed by a set of rules. The user must have a clear concept of what he needs to attain out of this information base. Therefore it becomes imperative to formulate a doctrine to use acquired knowledge in a useful and productive manner. Commanders at all levels now a days pay a lot of heed to the just use of this information base as it guides them through the success stages in their battle. Decision making at tactical and strategic level has become broadly dependent on the accuracy and in-time delivery of information to military commanders. Recently, the military analysts working on knowledge based systems have broken this myth which was wholly revolving around electronic warfare concept. Duane Andrews, one time Assistant Secretary of Defence for C31 coined the terms 'Strategic Asset', which is taking a new place in the boom of information doctrine. It is not just a matter of battlefield intelligence or tactical attacks on the other side's radar or telephone networks, but a powerful lever capable of altering high-level decision by the opponent. In knowledge warfare15, each side will try to shape enemy actions by manipulating the flow of intelligence and information.