December 2010
By Paul A. Strassmann, SIGNAL Magazine

The semantic Web will connect data in new ways and lay the foundation for further advances.

It is the objective of the U.S. Navy’s Information Dominance Corps to manage a global network that delivers instant integration of military data across a number of separate specializations such as geographic, intelligence, logistics and manpower, as well as provide information about red or blue forces. The semantic Web will be the engine needed to power the effort.

November 2010
By Paul A. Strassmann

Reliance on the Internet, project budget and contract details leave much to be desired.

September 2010
By Col. Alan D. Campen, USAF (Ret.), SIGNAL Magazine

An old doctrine illuminates the obsolescence of traditional rules.

Military commanders long have complained of limited situational awareness because of faulty intelligence and disruption of their lines of communications. Gen. Carl von Clausewitz called this “the fog of war.” Today’s military commanders face a distinctly different threat to their lines of communications because cyberwar casts a shadow far beyond Gen. Clausewitz’s conventional battlefield and the rules of engagement that govern armed conflict.

August 2010
By Paul A. Strassmann, SIGNAL Magazine

Many of today’s original ideas about a global command and control system can be traced to Vice Adm. Jerry Tuttle, USN (Ret.), who served as director, Space and Electronic Warfare, from 1989 until his retirement in 1994. Faced with the need to restructure the Naval Telecommunications System to handle dramatically increased message traffic, Tuttle could have proposed buying bigger pipes. Instead, he created the Copernicus concept for evolving the Navy’s networks. His immediate objective was to restructure the Naval Telecommunications System and then to extend it to other parts of the Navy as well as to other military departments.

August 2010
By Paul A. Strassmann, SIGNAL Magazine

The warfighters’ focus must be on the mission and not on the performance of the infrastructure.

June 2010
Reviewed by Dr. R. Norris Keeler, SIGNAL Magazine

While extensive work has been published on the U.S. and Soviet nuclear weapons programs, very little has been said about Soviet electronics and its related espionage until author Steven T. Usdin’s book, Engineering Communism: How Two Americans Spied for Stalin and Founded the Soviet Silicon Valley. Usdin has brought readers into this intriguing world in a thorough and insightful way by revealing how the two U.S.-born spies nearly created a Soviet version of Silicon Valley.

May 2010
By Cmdr. David M. Houff, USN, SIGNAL Magazine


The USS Constellation is photographed through the periscope of a Soviet attack submarine in 1980. The Soviet navy conducted intelligence-gathering patrols near U.S. naval bases during the Cold War.

Tuesday, January 02, 2010
By Paul A. Strassmann

The risks of social computing can be addressed in systems’ architecture.

The total population on the Internet is 1.6 billion. The majority of users engage in social computing, where numerous online services offer opportunities for sharing information. There are currently 156 social computing sites, but that number is growing to meet increasingly diverse interests. Sites with more than 15 million registered users include Digg, FriendFinder, Facebook, Flixster, Flickr, Friendster, Habbo, LinkedIn, MyLife, MySpace, Orkut, Plaxo, Twitter, YouTube, UStream and Wiki. These services had a total membership of 1.4 billion as of last fall.

November 2009
By Col. Alan D. Campen, USAF (Ret.)

Public trust and resilience are keys to cybersecurity.

The threat to cyberspace now rivals that of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. That is the message in the latest effort to rouse the public from slumber induced by ignorance, indifference, apathy, confusion and denial. Government is inundated with reports and studies from think tanks, academia, prestigious government research agencies and the cybersecurity industry—each decrying the weak and deteriorating state in our cyberdefenses and proffering advice to the new administration.

October 15, 2009
By Alan P. Balutis

This viewpoint is in response to the “Incoming” column published in SIGNAL Magazine, August 2009, page 112. (scroll to Related section for link)

Christopher J. Dorobek’s “Incoming” column focused on good leadership. I once was as misguided as Dorobek, but no more. I hope it is not too late to affect his thinking—and yours as well.

October 15, 2009
By Gen. James N. Mattis, USMC

Command and control must morph into a feedback loop.

Editor’s note: This viewpoint is adapted from a speech given by Gen. Mattis at LandWarNet 2009.

Command and control is a subject that encompasses all military functions. No matter how brave soldiers are or how many billions of dollars are spent, command and control is essential in enabling the warfighter to execute commander’s intent.

October 15, 2009
By Maj. Daniel Ward, USAF, Maj. Gabe Mounce, USAF, and Carol Scheina

A social media manifesto can lead the way.

The explosion of online social media is profoundly changing how people produce, consume and share information. Social media rapidly turns monologues into dialogues and broadcasts into conversations. The result is a rich environment in which ideas are shared, questions are answered and collaborative relationships flourish.

July 2009
By Col. Alan D. Campen, USAF (Ret.)

Many are called, but few are truly effective.

Some risks attend all travel in the domains of land, sea, air and outer space, but in those realms the voyager is afforded a patently acceptable measure of protection by laws, rules, sanctions against misbehavior, and social norms and comity. Aviators, firefighters, law enforcement officials, soldiers and others obliged to function in highly contested domains can seek added protection from partners who warn of danger from their rear perspective—their six o’clock.

April 2009
By Christopher Zinner

A specific approach is needed for effectiveness, high performance.

As the intelligence community looks to a future in which better intelligence decisions emerge from smarter use of available but limited resources, human capital must take center stage. Including culture, values, education and lifelong learning will provide the right ingredients to evolve the intelligence community to the next level of a learning organization—and to achieve high performance for the missions it supports.

December 2008
By Hamlin Tallent and Cameron Matthews

November 2008
By Paul A. Strassmann

Spending patterns show little movement toward fully shared enterprise services.

October 2008
By Col. Alan D. Campen, USAF (Ret.)

The task seemed simple enough: The U.S. military services should use a technological edge to adapt forces to whatever type of fight came to pass. They were prodded by an impatient secretary of defense who saw information technology as the means to win conventional wars quickly with less force. But, U.S. armed forces also were instructed by the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review to prepare for combat operations against new, elusive nonstate foes, with a focus on multiple irregular, asymmetric operations. They also had to give equal weight to combat and sustainability operations.

April 2008
By Diana Raschke

It will take mission over mechanism to function against today’s adversaries.

The U.S. intelligence community must centralize both collection and analysis to most effectively leverage technical and analytic expertise. Restructuring the intelligence community as a technical core of collection capabilities, surrounded by an analytic corps organized by areas of responsibility, would improve efficiency, depth and transparency of intelligence analysis.

January 2008
By Col. Alan D. Campen, USAF (Ret.)

“One if by land, and two if by sea,” but what if by cyberspace?

Having long relied upon military prowess and diplomatic skills to project and protect its interests on the seas, on land and in aerospace, the United States now is in conflict with stateless entities seeking hearts and minds, not land or treasure. It is a global contest of words and images, waged on a battlefield called cyberspace where rules of engagement that govern traditional conflict don’t apply and plans for a multiagency effort to protect the information infrastructure have not yet been adopted. 

December 2007
By Vinh Nguyen

Accountability and financial controls are part of the solution for cost-effective outsourcing.

The attacks on the United States in 2001 resulted in the intelligence community gaining tremendous power and resources to pursue U.S. adversaries around the world. Immediately after the attacks, the community began to augment its work force through rapid outsourcing, and this change in staffing led to new issues that had not been dealt with before.