The newly created U.S. Cyber Command is starting its first year of operation in a race to secure the vital infostructure before a new generation of cyberattacks causes lasting damage to military, government and commercial information assets. This potential hazard is not theoretical; it already has been realized overseas, and it may be just a matter of time before U.S. cyber assets suffer devastating attacks.
Political as well as military transformations are driving major changes at NATO. The alliance is reshaping itself to serve more as a geopolitical security organization than as a purely military one designed for armed deterrence and operations.
Finland's military is facing its own force transformation as it alters its structure and its mission. The Baltic nation is looking at broad-based equipment modernization, substantial personnel cuts and a network-centric architecture to define its armed forces.
Long-neutral Sweden faces major defense changes as it shifts its military emphasis from homeland defense to coalition operations. A force built around defending the territory of a single Scandinavian nation now must open up to interoperate fully with other nations in distant locales. This is bringing about changes in funding, logistics and force size.
The role of a relatively small defense agency operating from a high-rise office building not far from the Pentagon is to color outside the lines. This entrepreneurial organization has done that for 50 years and in the process has become a driving force in academia, industry and the military with one scientific breakthrough after another. The agency's technology advances continue to change the way the United States conducts warfare with startling battlefield triumphs.
An Orbital Express program demonstration underway almost 500 kilometers (300 miles) above the Earth is expected to have a profound effect on U.S. space operations and the design of military and commercial satellites. A series of successful maneuvers over the next several months is structured to demonstrate on-orbit satellite refueling and modular upgrades to avoid technical obsolescence.
The unforgiving world that has taken shape after September 11, 2001, is changing both the nature of defense intelligence and its means of operations. Virtually every aspect of intelligence operations—collection, processing, analysis and dissemination—is changing to address new global threats and the transformation gripping the national security community.
Fundamental advances in U.S. night vision technologies are unfolding rapidly. These sweeping military developments already are being demonstrated successfully. Called visual collaboration, the sharing of real-time image, graphics and information from soldier to soldier is enabled by exploiting new sensor and digital network technologies.