For most of the economies in the world, 2012 should continue to be a recovery year. This will prolong the pressure placed on budgets in defense, intelligence and homeland security. In the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) and information technology business—our focus—budget cuts often are not as great as in other sectors. However, the price is that expectations are high for information-driven savings that can be applied to reductions in the out years.
The U.S. Defense Department is aggressively pursuing cloud-computing options in the midst of budget cuts and personnel reductions. Pilot programs are in place around the uniformed services, experimenting with ways to enhance efficiency while ensuring security.
The revolution in information technology has been a boon to military command and control capabilities, but it also has introduced a new set of challenges to operational commanders. These technologies have complicated the process of command and control while simultaneously softening the basic understanding of its principles.
The challenges presented by the Asia-Pacific region in the 21st century are complex and diverse, and the U.S. military must carry out an increasingly changing mission under tightening budget constraints. The United States must adapt to ensure that it can address these and many other concerns, including cyberspace security of military and commercial networks, that will play a significant role in determining the future of the Asia-Pacific region.
Cyberspace has become a new dimension in warfare and defense. And, just like the other dimensions—air, land and sea—it requires special operation tactics and technologies. Given the many advantages offered by cyberwarfare—low cost, widespread applicability and ease of operation—it is likely to be the weapon of choice for future aggressors menacing NATO and its allies.
The U.S. government has released a road map to cloud computing that is designed to tackle some key issues, establish priorities and provide a clear path for government agencies and industry. The draft publication defines high-priority requirements for standards, official guidance and technology developments that need to be met for agencies to accelerate their migration of existing information technology systems to the cloud computing model.