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Association Feature

Cyberwarfare Looms Large in Information Systems

February 2009
By Charlotte Adams

Cyberspace, the virtual domain existing within the chips and wires of computer networks, may be the front line of the next big battle. A clash there may not be decisive, but it could be over in less than a second. As to whether the United States is as prepared as it ought to be, the answer appears to be no. According to government and industry experts, U.S. forces are just beginning their learning curve. The message is that it is time to beef up defenses, partner with the private sector, train the work force and educate the public about the dangers the country faces.

Asia-Pacific Region Serves as Template for Operational Challenges

January 2009
By Robert K. Ackerman

Now that network centricity is a given part of warfighting, it is undergoing growing pains that could hinder its greatest capabilities as the force embraces it fully. Service interoperability is as great a challenge as ever, and that task is complicated by the need to include both allies and nontraditional coalition partners in information networks.

Nations Converge for Talks on Swapping Data

January 2009
By Rita Boland

Representatives from Europe and beyond met in Prague recently to discuss information sharing in the battle environment and the requirements for seamless information transfer. The need to pass information among partners remains paramount for defense organizations, especially as various countries on the continent become further integrated. However, questions surround the best methods for pursuing these data-sharing goals, and challenges still remain.

Narcotics And Terrorism Are Linked, Pose Threats To Hemisphere

December 2008
By Rita Boland

The war on drugs has lost prominence in recent years to the war on terror, but the two dangers are not entirely separate. Leaders and other members of the anti-drug, anti-terror battles met in October to discuss the connections between illicit substances and insurgents and to emphasize the continued problem in the Americas posed especially by cocaine. And while terrorism may be high in the general public’s mind as people fear another attack, drug use is killing thousands of American citizens, including children, every year.

Securing Information Vexes Defense Planners

November 2008
By Charlotte Adams

Information assurance, encompassing such objectives as data availability, integrity and confidentiality, is a growing concern in the enormous data processing and communications enterprise run by the U.S. Defense Department and the underlying commercial infrastructure. The Defense Department’s network, known collectively as the Global Information Grid, is powerful but fragile. It also is under constant attack.

Army Programs Face Daunting Challenges

November 2008
By Robert K. Ackerman and Rita Boland

The U.S. Army’s LandWarNet program, the focus of Army information technology modernization, is fragmented, unsecure, expensive and not standardized. This comes from Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, USA, the U.S. Army chief information officer (CIO)/G-6. He believes that the Army will fix these problems, but it will take a coordinated plan to do so.

Leaders Call for Balance in the Force

September 2008
By Maryann Lawlor

With the eighth year of the Global War on Terrorism nearing, military leaders are taking one big collective deep breath and adjusting their thoughts about jointness, leadership and even acquisition. Fueled by more information about the enemy, they are speaking out about the need for balance—between the human element and technology, between fighting the wars today and preparing for future conflicts. They also are expressing what might be called radical ideas about how the armed forces move forward in the future, replacing the adjective asymmetric with irregular or hybrid when describing wars with today’s adversary.

No Certainty Yet for Identity Assurance

September 2008
By Charlotte Adams

As the armed forces move into the brave new world of information sharing, one of their biggest challenges will be identity assurance—proving that the parties to a virtual transaction are who they say they are, or simply that the person trying to enter a secure facility does in fact have a right to be there. Many current technologies already handle this task, including public key technology and biometrics, but many problems exist as well, such as duplication of effort within the federal government, lack of funding and even understanding what identity is.

Persistent, Mass Collaboration Driving The Defense Information Advantage

July 2008
By Beverly P. Mowery

Cultural changes in the U.S. Defense Department are bringing people out of their comfort zones and encouraging them to take advantage of technology opportunities happening around them. The movement toward a service-oriented world is challenging the systems mentality and is leading to a collaboration and information sharing environment that is more agile and responsive.

Information Sharing Raises More Questions Than Answers

May 2008
By Charlotte Adams

Information silos and data hoarding are more than annoyances—they cost lives and disrupt missions. Although government leaders understand the need to share information, not only among agencies but with allies and the private sector, progress has been slow and uneven.


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