Leadership: Big Generals Get Big Screens and Live Feeds


January 23, 2008: South Korea's military fired up its new electronic information system, KJCCS (Korea Joint Command Control System) this month. It took three years of effort, and about $30 million, to develop. What it basically does is pull in electronic information from all military sources, and presents it in headquarters, in a format easily understood by commanders. This includes stuff from radars, electronic monitoring gear, UAVs, military units all over the country, and satellites.

The purpose is to enable the senior commanders to make decisions more quickly. Knowing that the North Koreans have nothing like this, and take much longer to sort out what it going on and make a decision, the South Koreans expect KJCCS to provide quite an edge in wartime. There's also the need to be able to match American command and control systems, because South Korea will take over supreme command of armed forces in South Korea in 2012, 62 years after the U.S. was given that power by the UN, in order to repel a North Korea invasion. The U.S. has a system similar to KJCCS, which South Korea officers have used during joint exercises. Gradually, KJCCS will become the main command and control system, which U.S. forces will have to plug into.

The KJCCS also supports a generational shift in the South Korea high command. For decades, the South Korea military had operated in traditional East Asian fashion. That is, it was strictly top down. Subordinates kept silent and simply followed orders from above. But two generations of officers who had studied at American military schools, and worked with U.S. commanders in South Korea, created a growing demand for a more "American" command style (subordinates that can talk back, with different opinions and interpretations of battlefield situations). KCCCS makes this possible, as this flood of information enables subordinates to provide feedback that does not break any of the ancient taboos about embarrassing the boss, but does clearly spotlight rapidly developing bad news. Hey, it's just a bunch of stuff on a big flat screen display. The boss will know what to do.


Article Archive

Leadership: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close