Association Feature

January 2011
By Beverly Mowery Cooper, SIGNAL Magazine

Computer networks are essential to global productivity and collaboration. They also are weapons: More harm is possible from a network attack than from a machine gun, according to experts gathered in London to discuss cyberwar.

October 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

U.S. Army acquisition processes are in the midst of a dynamic alteration. Technology development speeds are forcing the military branch to rethink the way it procures the capabilities soldiers need, and the way ahead will be faster and less formal than past methods. Individuals will have the power to create applications faster without stringent guidelines, while larger systems will be brought into the fold in a more timely fashion.

July 2010
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Magazine

Coalition forces are on the threshold of attaining one goal they have sought to achieve for nearly a decade: persistent agility and perseverance. The stunning terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001, is one in a list of terrorist assaults that occurred prior to that unprovoked assault and unfortunately persist. But it was that horrific event in September 2001 that solidified a multinational determination to fight a tenacious conglomerate of adversaries. Despite this focused objective, however, the challenges to collaborate are not as much about a lack of single-mindedness but rather the natural ungainliness that emerges when countries take on en masse combat.

May 2010
By Henry S. Kenyon and Maryann Lawlor

Successfully managing homeland security activities requires government agencies to balance their efforts between different issues such as cyberspace, border protection, law enforcement and international cooperation. Good communications between all facets of federal, state and local government as well as the private sector is key to maintaining this equilibrium. But achieving ideal levels of coordination remains a challenge as officials struggle to counter external threats while attempting to restructure internal communications across organizational boundaries.

April 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman and Maryann Lawlor

The information revolution that is sweeping the globe is forcing radical changes in the national security arena. Previous notions of strategic and tactical military planning are being swept away as both time and power have new definitions. And, that information technology realm itself is a major player in the concept of national security.

February 4, 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman and Maryann Lawlor

All the chief of naval operations did on the last day of West 2010 was describe the future U.S. Navy and its top requirements. Adm. Gary Roughead, USN, told an overflow audience at the three-day event’s final luncheon that the Navy will be built around information, in both technology and practice.

February 3, 2010
By Maryann Lawlor and Robert K. Ackerman

The second day of West 2010 began with an examination of one of the Navy’s biggest recent changes. During the Wednesday luncheon, Vice Adm. David J. “Jack” Dorsett, USN, the first deputy chief of naval operations for information dominance (N2/N6), outlined the three issues that he sees as key in this newly created position. The U.S. Navy must determine what it means for the United States to have information dominance, how it plans to achieve it and what the opportunities are for industry in this regard.

February 2, 2010
Robert K. Ackerman

The information revolution that is sweeping the globe is forcing radical changes in the national security arena. Previous notions of strategic and tactical military planning are being swept away as both time and power have new definitions. And, that information technology realm itself is a major player in the concept of national security.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010
By Maryann Lawlor

Cyberspace is the new frontier and is fraught with all the excitement and peril that come with it. Opportunities for innovation and prosperity abound. Unfortunately, like the challenges faced by explorers who settled the New World, the dangers and unknown threats lurking throughout the world online are often difficult to identify and fend off.

January 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman

The problems presented by information technology acquisition pale in comparison to those of cybersecurity acquisition. Challenges range from rapidly changing requirements to outmoded criteria for the security work force. And, these challenges coalesce against the backdrop of an ever-increasing cyberspace menace that is growing in both size and sophistication worldwide.

Tuesday, January 02, 2010
By Beverly Mowery

While the push forward for better collaboration and information-sharing capabilities will require technical advances, the experts at a NATO workshop in Brussels, Belgium, in October shared that they are struggling with an even bigger challenge than connecting the bits and bytes. The complex policy, governance and legal issues that a single interoperability level creates must be resolved because real lives are involved. Dag Wilhelmsen, technical director, NATO Communication and Information Systems Services Agency, and workshop moderator, opened the workshop by saying that its purpose was to establish a common language, vision and standards for identity management in a federated environment.

Tuesday, January 02, 2010
By Beverly Mowery

Security and information sharing have prominent and complementary roles in countering asynchronous warfare challenges, but many of today’s defense policies and military forces still are organized for World War II-type threats. NATO is looking ahead at the emerging challenges in light of a wider threat and is seeking a more collaborative environment in response.

December 2009
By Maryann Lawlor

After decades of creating phenomenal information technology tools, the U.S. military is now focusing on convergence. The systems-of-systems approach gradually is being replaced by a more fully intertwining architecture into a powerful mash up. The benefits of initiatives that create unified communications capabilities are as dissimilar as the difference between having a single computer or radio and being part of a network.

November 2009
By Maryann Lawlor

A multitude of sentries stand between state-of-the-art solutions and warfighters’ hands. The acquisition bureaucracy has become so convoluted that even urgent need requests are feeling the effects. Debating the way around or right through the administrative sentinels that procurement professionals face in the government was the focus of AFCEA International’s SOLUTIONS Series event, “IT Acquisition: Shifting to a Modern Paradigm.” At the September event in Lansdowne, Virginia, identifying the problems was not a challenge; agreeing on the most expedient way to solve them was a little more difficult.

October 15, 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

Modern communications and sensor systems have greatly increased the speed and effectiveness of maneuver warfare and have empowered units at the edge by providing them with greater situational awareness. But these benefits have a price—lack of interoperability caused by disparate equipment and vulnerability to external threats ranging from jamming to cyberattacks.

July 2009
By Maryann Lawlor and Helen Thompson Mosher

Call it hybrid, unconventional or asymmetric warfare, the conclusion is the same: the United States and its allies must be prepared to fight a war against integrated threats posed by traditional and nontraditional adversaries. Accomplishing this task will require simultaneous improvements in almost every area of today’s forces, including training, agility, acquisition, strategy, tactics and cultural awareness. To defeat complex foes and their multifaceted attacks, the U.S. military has developed a framework that sets the course forward. However, this plan is not designed as the be-all and end-all of strategies. Instead, it is meant to address past and current challenges and to propel the military and other government agencies into an unpredictable future.

July 2009
By Helen Thompson Mosher

Networks no longer are a tidy complement to the work of defense agencies. As information gathering and processing have become faster and more essential to defense and security operations, those networks have evolved into essential tools. But the very barriers created in the justifiable zeal to protect these networks also are erecting significant roadblocks to information sharing, and the fallout affects the agencies’ ability to collaborate with allies, coalition partners and each other.

May 2009
By Rita Boland

The military is aggressively seeking help from industry to satisfy its technical requirements, and the need for private-sector support will grow as supplemental funds dry up and budgets are reduced. The U.S. Defense Department, its partners and allies especially are seeking technologies that will break down barriers to information sharing as well as products that eliminate networks and hardware, particularly boxes and wires.

April 2009
Reporting by Maryann Lawlor and Beverly P. Mowery. Compiled by Henry S. Kenyon

Reliable federal and state homeland security coordination hinges on information sharing, interoperability, governance and trust. But achieving the right mix of these elements among governments, law enforcement agencies and the private sector presents both cultural and technical challenges.

April 2009
By Robert K. Ackerman

Enemies are probing U.S. military forces for weaknesses that they can exploit, and these foes already may be winning in cyberspace. Coupled with changed budgetary priorities brought about by the new Obama administration, these threats pose substantial challenges to defense planners wrestling with maintaining readiness in the age of global terrorism.