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Association Feature

Bringing Security to NATO's Front Lines Requires Policy, Governance and Legal Action

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.

NATO Nations Embrace Collaboration Technologies, Seek Security Solutions

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.

Communications Convergence Breeds Opportunities

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.

Acquisition Experts Debate

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.

U.S. Army Ponders Cyber Operations

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.

Moving Past Roadblocks to Collaboration

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.

Experts Envision Future Force

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.

Battle Leaders Express Their Frustrations and Needs

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.

Homeland Security Activities Pushing Information Sharing Advancements

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.

Foes and Funding Vex Military Planners

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.

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