Home' Defense Systems : October and November 2013 Contents For your (joint) information
BY GEORGE LEOPOLD
Our growing interconnectedness brings us closer together but in many
ways makes us less secure. While seeking to leverage the former, Defense
Department planners are seeking ways and means to secure emerging military
networks through a standard architecture. at framework, known as the Joint
Information Environment, or JIE, would not only secure networks but force long
sought network interoperability on the military services that have long preferred
their own proprietary systems.
ere have been many DOD e orts to cajole, nudge, push and force the services
to embrace joint programs. e track record is not good. e most recent failure
is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, arguably the most expensive weapon program of
all time. (Even the former aviator, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, has called the F-35
acquisition program, according to reports, "one of the great national scandals").
Granted, IT initiatives like JIE are fundamentally di erent from cutting-
edge hardware development programs like the F-35. But the promoters of JIE
acknowledge that it will take a fundamental cultural change within the military to
achieve the buy-in required for operational success.
Senior defense o cials speaking at a recent IT confab said pockets of
"institutional resistance" to JIE remain within the services. Some, according to
Army Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman, CIO of the Joint Sta , "are waiting for it to go
away." Referring to the generational shi that will be required for JIE to succeed,
Bowman added, " e junior guys get it. ey want to be interoperable. ey want
to be able to do their job."
Let s hope so.
If nothing else, the backbone of JIE, a standard security architecture, will
address the growing requirement to bullet-proof next-generation networks being
designed for greater mobility, pushing tactical data to the network edge and
delivering battle eld intelligence where and when it is needed.
In this issue, we address a range of technologies and programs that illustrate
the growing awareness that information dominance -- the ability to collect and
si through enormous amounts of sensor and other data, then make sense of
it -- is more important for U.S. national security than overwhelming force. As
recent events illustrate, striking a balance between national security and our
fundamental right to privacy will be one of the great challenges of a constitutional
democracy in the 21st century.
Meanwhile, military planners seeking to make JIE a reality face the di cult
task of turning all those Power Point presentations into secure networks that the
military can actually use to defend the nation.
4 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 | DefenseSystems.com
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Vol. 7, Number 6
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