Cover: Stretching the Network

Stretching the Network

Using Transformed Forces in Demanding Contingencies Other Than War

Published Dec 20, 2004

by David C. Gompert, Hans Pung, Kevin A. O'Brien, Jeffrey Peterson


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.3 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback52 pages $23.00

In the United States, transformation to a networked force is being pursued mainly to preserve and bolster the ability to prevail decisively in major expeditionary war. But can networking solve common operational challenges in nonpermissive contingencies short of war? The authors describe the capabilities of networked forces and examine their utility for meeting the challenges of these lesser contingencies. They then analyze ten possible hypothetical scenarios to assess the value of networking capabilities for each scenario. The authors conclude that the ability to gather, fuse, and share information is important for overcoming nearly all operational problems associated with nonpermissive contingencies other than war. In addition, networking has particular advantages in finding, distinguishing, and destroying resistance; pursuing distributed objectives, controlling wide areas, and seizing critical points; rescuing, evacuating, and protecting noncombatants; eliminating residual threats and restoring order; and minimizing damage and casualties while accomplishing those tasks.

This research in the public interest was supported by RAND, using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of RAND’s donors, the fees earned on client-funded research, and independent research and development (IR&D) funds provided by the Department of Defense.

This report is part of the RAND occasional paper series. RAND occasional papers may include an informed perspective on a timely policy issue, a discussion of new research methodologies, essays, a paper presented at a conference, or a summary of work in progress. All RAND occasional papers undergo rigorous peer review to help ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.