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[] Pentagon hat Probleme mit High-Tech-Projekten,
Ein lesenswerter Artikel über die Probleme der Umsetzung der
hochfliegenden Hightech-Projekte. 


DOD wants to engage the future

August 20, 2001 

By Richard W. Walker and Dawn S. Onley, GCN Staff

Battles over vision and funding loom first

The Defense Department?s oft-stated vision for the future of combat
thrusts information technology to the fore, embracing concepts such as
network-centric warfare and digital battlefields.

The reality is that there are plenty of stumbling blocks keeping the
military from achieving that vision.

The department is weighed down by a mass of programs, and there is
entrenched resistance to change, according to officials in both DOD and
industry. Plus, many IT-critical initiatives lack funding and have
become bogged down by procurement procedures.

Performance measures that would weed out unproductive programs are
nonexistent. And many Defense systems aren?t interoperable.

Come Sept. 30, the debate is likely to take a new direction when Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld delivers his long-awaited and already
controversial 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review.

?The vision is [of] the robust, reliable, assured information
infrastructure required to conduct warfare in the 21st century,? said
Paul Brubaker, former deputy chief information officer for DOD. ?The
articulation of the goal has been OK. The huge gap has been in backing
that vision with resources. In other words, directing and steering
resources toward achieving the vision.?

Brubaker, who heads electronic-government services for Commerce One Inc.
of Pleasanton, Calif., ascribes the problem to an absence of effective

?It?s been the inability to manage to the vision,? he said. ?They just
haven?t done it.?
Moreover, Brubaker said, resistance to reform at the Pentagon and in
Congress has blurred the vision.

?You?ve got a lot of folks who have made their careers operating in the
old way, and they?re protecting their turf,? he said. ?Then you?ve got
Congress. They don?t really understand the big picture, and they?ll
start meddling in management?s ability to get the job done.?

French Caldwell, a former special projects officer for the secretary of
the Navy and now research director for technology and public policy for
Gartner Inc. of Stamford, Conn., agreed.

?There?s a huge mismatch between the vision and the force structure
that?s actually being funded,? Caldwell said. ?No one wants to divert
the money because it jeopardizes current programs.?

This is not to say that the outlook is entirely gloomy. Caldwell pointed
to the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet as a bright spot.

?It?s the biggest IT project ever funded by the federal government,? he
said, referring to the $6.9 million NMCI contract. ?You can buy half a
dozen B-2 bombers with that. It?s a big shift to see that type of
funding and focus on creating a cohesive, collaborative network.?

Brubaker concurred. ?The department needs to do more things like NMCI,
which is a bold-stroke effort,? he said.

In addition, the Army recently announced plans to centralize systems
management at about two dozen major commands under the service?s CIO.

?A long time ago in the IT world, people weren?t really concerned about
the larger enterprise,? said Miriam Browning, the Army?s principal
director for enterprise integration in the office of the Army?s CIO.
?We?re now saying that we need to manage this as a single network.?

The program is aimed at ?reducing our IT footprint instead of having
thousands and thousands of servers,? she said.

Any further plans might hinge on Rumsfeld?s Quadrennial Defense Review.

The QDR will outline the Bush administration?s goals for reshaping the
military to contend with emerging threats in the post-Cold War world,
including rogue states using long-range missiles, terrorism and

The QDR also is likely to be a signpost for the direction IT will take
at Defense.

There seems to be little doubt that the review will expand the vision of
network-centric warfare, making IT more intrinsic than ever to future
Defense systems.

?I think there will be a much greater reliance on IT and a good
acknowledgement of the importance of IT as it relates to the warfighting
mission and the business mission,? Browning said.

Anthony Valletta, a vice president at SRA International Inc. of
Arlington, Va., and a former Defense official, expects the QDR to
reconfirm and increase the role of command, control, communications,
computers and intelligence in warfare.

?Having better eyes and better ears means that you put steel on target
faster and kill the target the first time, which saves money in the long
run because you don?t have to shoot the second, third and fourth
rounds,? Valletta said.

Waiting for review

It will mean ?the full exploitation of IT,? said Emmett Paige Jr.,
president and chief operating officer of OAO Corp. of Greenbelt, Md.,
and former assistant secretary of defense for 3CI.

The QDR has been the center of controversy, mostly over rumors that it
will propose reductions in the size of the military, including cuts in
troops and conventional weapons systems.

Opposition to such cuts is coming from inside the Pentagon and from

In a recent QDR update at the Pentagon, Gen. Richard Myers, vice
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, denied that uniformed leadership
has tried to impede reform efforts. ?I think there is a consensus that
change is required,? he said.

Myers conceded that there have been ?passionate arguments? about cuts
and that getting ?through this paradigm shift is really tough work.?

Earlier this month, a majority of the members of the House Armed
Services Committee warned Rumsfeld against trying to reduce the size of

Whatever reforms the QDR proposes, most observers agree that some
reduction in force size is inevitable, sooner or later.

And a downsizing in forces more than likely means upsizing for IT, by
most accounts.

IT focuses efforts

?It will probably mean more reliance on automated systems,? Brubaker

?One of the core principles of warfare is concentration of force,?
Caldwell said.
?Network-centric warfare goes against that core principle. If you?re
downsizing your forces, concentration of force gets harder and harder to
achieve. Yet with information technology, you get virtual concentration
[of] force.?

Many see the increasing role of technology as contributing to reductions
in force size.

?It?s the idea that IT is going to help leverage smaller and smaller
forces,? Caldwell said.

Ray Bjorklund, a vice president at Federal Sources Inc. of McLean, Va.,
added, ?There will be a strategic shift in thinking?fewer forces and
relying more on the richness of IT.?

Sources also expect Rumsfeld?s QDR to call for tougher requirements in
the IT acquisition process, promoting the principles of the Information
Technology Management Reform Act of 1996, which underscored lifecycle
management of systems as capital investments.

?You?ve got people in place [in the Bush administration] now from the
Clinger-Cohen generation,? Valletta said. ?You?re going to see a
re-emphasis in the areas of enterprise architectures, capital planning,
performance measures and return on investment.?

He added: ?I believe that programs like NMCI, which have to meet
service-level agreements, are going to be very critical. Those
service-level agreements are basically performance measures. NMCI is
going to be watched very carefully. If it doesn?t meet the performance
measures, then the Office of Management and Budget and the Congress are
going say: ?Why should we give you the money if you?re not showing the
return?? ?

What it does, what it is

Other observers also see performance-based contracting as key to DOD
advancing toward its vision.

?I think you?re going to see less of IT the product and more of IT the
enabler,? said Chip Mather, senior vice president of Acquisition
Solutions Inc. of Chantilly, Va. ?For years we were buying PCs. Now
we?re buying service-level agreements. That will become more and more
essential to Defense meeting its mission.?

The lack of interoperability among military systems and the need for an
overarching network is another hurdle Rumsfeld faces.

He knows it. In a recent interview, he declared that the military needs
information dominance and information interoperability to address future

?We still have a lot of disparate systems out there among the services,?
Valletta said. ?I think joint interoperability is still one of the most
critical issues the department faces.?

The services also need to integrate back-office and support networks
such as personnel, finance and logistics systems, Paige said.

DOD spends a lot of money on IT and software systems in these areas, he
said. ?I?m convinced that we?re wasting billions of dollars every year
with all of these different functional systems,? Paige said. ?Every
dollar we save will help us modernize and protect the interests of the

Can Defense begin to make real progress toward its digital vision?

?I know that at the top of the organization, their hearts are in the
right place,? Brubaker said. ?They definitely want to move the
department into the 21st century. But it will be a hell of a challenge.?

© 2001 Post Newsweek Tech Media Group

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