At the command level, a soldier commands a number of other soldiersand their equipment, or works for the commanderat this level. This level also includes the strategic level, that at whichthe actions of the military are most closely linked to national policy.The commander is not directly involved in the fighting in that he is notactually targeting and firing at another soldier; instead, he is directingthe actions of soldiers who are in direct contact with the enemy. In thisposition, a commander concerns himself not only with weapons and destruction,but the deeper issues of ensuring that those soldiers on the front linesare supplied and can communicate with him. He must also ensure that eachaction he directs supports his unit's ability to continue fighting, orat least to defend itself, once the larger battle is over. For this levelof war, the commander's most important machinic counterpart is the communicationssystem, devices such as the radio and the mobile telephone that are directdevelopments of the human voice. They find their ancestry in the guidon,a flag that indicated the commander's position on the battlefield and couldbe held in different positions to indicate what action the commander wantedhis soldiers to conduct. Radio communication allows the commander to understandwhat his soldiers are fighting and to give them directions on how to proceedwith the battle. In some ways, this communication system serves as a typeof nervous system for the tactical level commander, enabling him to communicatehis will to the soldiers and thereby impose that will on the enemy.
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