Referring to Washington, D.C. as its own area of responsibility, Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn, cited several figures from the recently released proposed U.S. Defense Department budget that illustrate the new administration's changing focus. "From now on, irregular warfare is a regular part of our plan," he said.
The SIGNAL Blog
Views about how to improve government acquisition varied greatly during the final panel session of the Joint Warfighting Conference. While some panel members expressed confidence in the current system, admitting it needs some improvements, others stated that much more drastic changes are needed to get solutions into the field.
Recent news about piracy near the Horn of Africa is only one example of the disruptions to the global supply chain that will have expansive and far-reaching effects, according to Stephen Carmel, senior vice president, Maritime Services, Maersk Line Limited. At the opening presentation on the final day of the Joint Warfighting Conference, Carmel said that because the global supply chain depends heavily on information technology today, cyberattacks are increasing as a vulnerability to the transport of goods.
Members from each of the four services offered their insights into how to build a balanced joint force at Wednesday's final panel session at the Joint Warfighting Conference. They may be coming at it from different angles, but all agreed that the need for agility requires the definition of the problems and the adoption of new concepts, platforms and technologies.
Kicking off Wednesday's Joint Warfighting Conference's early afternoon panel on "The Human Dimension: How Do We Develop Our People?", moderator Vice Admiral Albert H. Konetzni, Jr., USN (Ret.), wondered aloud Lincoln would have done with a computer and a Blackberry before moving on to his view of how to develop people: that to engage fledgling leaders, they must feel empowered and have a sense of ownership, no matter their rank.
Experts representing a wide variety of groups took on the topic of military, agency and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) cooperation in future security efforts, pointing out that national security involves not only warfare but also the creation of good relationships among nations. At the Wednesday morning Joint Warfighting Conference panel, participants agreed that the military services have taken on many responsibilities that are not part of their traditional mission. However, the steps that need to be taken to address this issue are many and complicated, they concurred.
War doesn't mean it what it used to, and as we struggle to find the right words to describe "our new normal," terms like "asymmetrical," "hybrid" and "irregular" warfare only paint part of the picture, according to Adm. Eric T. Olson, USN, commander, U.S. Special Operations Command. "The threats we are facing are not new," he said. "But the specific nature of this threat is a new challenge."
In an extremely provocative speech, Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett, author of The Pentagon's New Map, opened Wednesday's Joint Warfighting Conference by sharing his vision of the effect of globalization on nations and coalitions. He applauded the establishment of the U.S. Africa Command as a solid step toward moving globalization in a positive direction.
The Defence Science and Technology Agency of Singapore has awarded Thales with the Life Extension Program of its four Bedok-class mine countermeasure vessels. Thales will provide an advanced, integrated mine countermeasure combat system, including the mine information system, a hull-mounted sonar, a towed synthetic aperture sonar and expendable mine disposal systems.
The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization has awarded Unisys a firm fixed price task order to provide information technology support services to the U.S. Joint Forces Command. Under the three-year task order, Unisys will assist the command in implementing the Defense Department Joint Net-Centric Data Strategy for making military data more visible, accessible, understandable, trustworthy and interoperable for all of the military services, combatant commands and major defense agencies. The award is a recompete of work Unisys has performed under successive task orders since April 2005.