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GIG 2.0 Provides Framework for One Global Network

March 4, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

Vice Adm. Nancy Brown, USN, director, J6, The Joint Staff, provided an overview of Global Information Grid (GIG) 2.0, an effort to reduce barriers to information sharing. With cyber now an official warfighting domain, the military has to figure out how to navigate in that domain where networks are platforms and information is a payload. Adm. Brown says there are too many networks and GIG 2.0 is a framework to bring together service intranets to act as one global network.

GIG 2.0 has five characteristics that the admiral outlined in her presentation: global authentication, access control and directory services; unity of command; information and services "from the edge"; joint infrastructure; and common policies and standards. The tactical edge is in the center of the framework because GIG 2.0 is being developed to provide capability to the troops on the ground.

Adm. Brown specifically addressed GIG 2.0's application to U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command, both headquartered in Tampa, saying that it will reduce the number of networks necessary to conduct business and build trust among partners. She also gave an example of Web 2.0 efforts underway in her own division. The J6 has established a wiki for its Weekly Activity Report, allowing interested parties to see the information as it becomes available and reducing e-mails in the division by 50 percent.

In her final thoughts, Adm. Brown said, "We learned we can't fight counterinsurgency from garrison." Nor can the military succeed in the 2.0 world if networks are surrounded with security. Instead, it needs to embrace the new tools and figure out how to protect the information that needs to be protected.


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