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[] GCN 10.10.02 Information is as effective a weapon as a bomb, IT brass say,

Information is as effective a weapon as a bomb, IT brass say

By Dawn S. Onley,
GCN Staff
One of the best ways to strip an enemy force of battlefield control is
to take away its command of information. The enemy won't know where U.S.
forces are or
when they will strike, a panel of senior military brass said yesterday
at the MILCOM 2002 conference in Anaheim, Calif.

Defense Department agencies are working to develop command and control
systems that can accomplish this goal, said Air Force Brig. Gen. William
T. Lord,
director of communications and information systems for the Air Combat

"We in the Air Force sometimes get wrapped up in the kinetic piece. We
think the investment is a $220 million" weapons system, Lord said. "But
operations can clearly shape the battlefield without requiring so much
kinetic force."

Dawn Meyerriecks, chief technology officer at the Defense Information
Systems Agency, said information operations are ?as much a part of the
fight as the folks
dropping the weapons on targets. We're betting the farm on IT.?

Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr., director of DISA, led a panel
discussion on the future of joint command and control operations within

"Suppose you could make the enemy think you are already there" when you
aren't, Lord said. "This will provide us with a force-multiplying
effect. If you've
scrambled the enemy's ability to wage war, you've just reduced your
[need to use force], without sending your kids off to strange places to
fight strange folks."

U.S. forces rely on command and control systems more than ever, Defense
officials said. Ten years ago, it was no big deal if a defense network
went down. Today,
Lord said, a network failure could have devastating consequences.

The next step, Raduege said, is to develop Defense systems that are
faster, more secure and seamlessly connected. Industry can help by
developing applications that
are easy to use, Lord said.

"It has to be more intuitive. It has to be quick, it has to be easy,"
Lord said. "There are wonderful tools, but some require a rocket science
degree to use it."

Olivier Minkwitz___________________________________________
Dipl. Pol.
HSFK Hessische Stiftung für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung
PRIF Peace Research Institute Frankfurt
Leimenrode 29 60322 Frankfurt a/M Germany
Tel +49 (0)69 9591 0422  Fax +49 (0)69 5584 81                         pgpKey:0xAD48A592
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