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Viewpoint

Military Needs New Operational Paradigm

October 15, 2009
By Gen. James N. Mattis, USMC

Command and control is a subject that encompasses all military functions. No matter how brave soldiers are or how many billions of dollars are spent, command and control is essential in enabling the warfighter to execute commander’s intent.

Who's Watching Your Six in Cyberspace?

July 2009
By Col. Alan D. Campen, USAF (Ret.)

Some risks attend all travel in the domains of land, sea, air and outer space, but in those realms the voyager is afforded a patently acceptable measure of protection by laws, rules, sanctions against misbehavior, and social norms and comity. Aviators, firefighters, law enforcement officials, soldiers and others obliged to function in highly contested domains can seek added protection from partners who warn of danger from their rear perspective—their six o’clock.

Technology Is Neither Bottleneck Nor Solution

June 1, 2009
By Helen Mosher

This is my take on the AFCEA, Northcom and George Mason University conference on "Inter-agency, Allied and Coalition Information Sharing," which was covered on SIGNAL Scape last week. No, we still can't connect the dots as well as hoped and never will, but conferees agreed that what matters most is the thoughtful and trusting use that humans could make of what information manages to flow through IT systems, however improperly they may be connected.

Intelligence Must Plan to Develop Tomorrow's Analyst

April 2009
By Christopher Zinner

As the intelligence community looks to a future in which better intelligence decisions emerge from smarter use of available but limited resources, human capital must take center stage. Including culture, values, education and lifelong learning will provide the right ingredients to evolve the intelligence community to the next level of a learning organization—and to achieve high performance for the missions it supports.

Defining AFRICOM's Mission

December 2008
By Hamlin Tallent and Cameron Matthews

Combatant commands are vital to the protection and preservation of U.S. interests. However, in today’s dynamic, volatile global environment, they may need to evolve their “product” to best suit the environment they intend to shape. In the case of U.S. Africa Command, it may be more relevant and effective for the organization to support the region’s fledging democracies. These nations need assistance in establishing their ability to openly share information with each another and international allies. In doing so, U.S. combatant commands can prove invaluable in helping nations grow and prosper to become better service providers to their people and achieve greater positive outcomes as a result.

Does the 2009 Budget Support Network-Centric Missions?

November 2008
By Paul A. Strassmann

Network-centric operations as a doctrine based on a shared U.S. Defense Department infrastructure is now 10 years old. The concept of networked warfare has been under active consideration by the Office of the Secretary of Defense since 2001, but no evidence suggests that significant infrastructure consolidations are taking place. As yet, no new major systems have been built on a shared infrastructure platform. The fiscal year 2009 budgets show no significant reallocations of funds to propel network centricity into reality any time soon.

Can a Regular Army Fight an Irregular War?

October 2008
By Col. Alan D. Campen, USAF (Ret.)

The task seemed simple enough: The U.S. military services should use a technological edge to adapt forces to whatever type of fight came to pass. They were prodded by an impatient secretary of defense who saw information technology as the means to win conventional wars quickly with less force. But, U.S. armed forces also were instructed by the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review to prepare for combat operations against new, elusive nonstate foes, with a focus on multiple irregular, asymmetric operations. They also had to give equal weight to combat and sustainability operations.

Asymmetric Warfare Requires Intelligence Community Reorganization

April 2008
By Diana Raschke

The U.S. intelligence community must centralize both collection and analysis to most effectively leverage technical and analytic expertise. Restructuring the intelligence community as a technical core of collection capabilities, surrounded by an analytic corps organized by areas of responsibility, would improve efficiency, depth and transparency of intelligence analysis.

Cyberwar, Anyone?

January 2008
By Col. Alan D. Campen, USAF (Ret.)

Having long relied upon military prowess and diplomatic skills to project and protect its interests on the seas, on land and in aerospace, the United States now is in conflict with stateless entities seeking hearts and minds, not land or treasure. It is a global contest of words and images, waged on a battlefield called cyberspace where rules of engagement that govern traditional conflict don’t apply and plans for a multiagency effort to protect the information infrastructure have not yet been adopted.

Current Trends in Intelligence Outsourcing Affect Work Force Stability

December 2007
By Vinh Nguyen

The attacks on the United States in 2001 resulted in the intelligence community gaining tremendous power and resources to pursue U.S. adversaries around the world. Immediately after the attacks, the community began to augment its work force through rapid outsourcing, and this change in staffing led to new issues that had not been dealt with before.

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