[LINK] DOD presents Information Age budget

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd@austarmetro.com.au
Mon, 10 Feb 2003 11:41:22 +1100

I ask myself: "Is this a reasonable proposal? Will it achieve its aims?"

To make some sort of assessment I ask a further question: "If all these
projects had been completed before 11 September 2001, would they have
prevented the terrorist attack?"

>From this report it would seem that the answer is No. Maybe that's because
I didn't grow up in a culture that says "If in doubt use a bigger gun"

$US24 billion seems an awful lot of money to spend on a bunch of projects
that aren't likely to achieve their stated aims.  But then, of course,
there is a real suspicion that with the current USA administration, real
aims and stated aims are not quite the same.


DOD presents Information Age budget 
BY Dan Caterinicchia 
Feb. 6, 2003
Federal Computer Week
In order to respond to new threats more quickly, the Defense Department's
$380 billion budget request for fiscal 2004 includes more than $24 billion
focused on information technology-laden transformation efforts, and is
attempting to bring DOD systems and processes into the Information Age,
according to the Pentagon's top brass. 

In his Feb. 5 testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the budget request attempts to balance three
competing demands:

* Winning the global war on terrorism by meeting near-term demands.

* Preparing for near-term threats by investing in readiness, people and

* Preparing for the future through transformation.

"We have an Industrial Age organization, yet we are living in an
Information Age world, where new threats emerge suddenly, often without
warning, to surprise us," Rumsfeld said in his prepared testimony. "We
cannot afford not to change and rapidly if we hope to live in that world."

In order to accomplish its transformational goals, DOD has established six
goals, two of which are IT-centered: 

* Harnessing IT to link the U.S. military forces and enable them to fight

* Protecting U.S. information networks from attack and disabling enemies'

The focal point of transformation is improving DOD's command, control,
communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
capabilities. The fiscal 2004 request includes more than $3.9 billion to
fund some key programs in that area:

* Transformational laser satellite communications, which should help ease
DOD's bandwidth problems, at $452 million.

* The Joint Tactical Radio System, which uses software-centric radios that
can be programmed to patch users into various radio frequencies, at $478

* Cryptologic modernization, to improve protection of DOD networks, at $416

* The Army's Future Combat Systems, which will equip Army vehicles with
information and communications systems to give soldiers capabilities for
command and control, surveillance and reconnaissance, direct and
nonline-of-sight weapons firing, and personnel transport, at $1.7 billion.

* Deployable Joint Command and Control, which will provide intelligence
processing, mission planning and control of combat operations for standing
joint force headquarters, at more than $125 million.

Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said
the first deployable joint command and control system is scheduled for
delivery in 2005, and when combined with other programs, "this effort will
allow the joint force to truly transform the way it plans, coordinates and
executes joint operations."

DOD also is changing the way it develops new systems whenever and wherever
possible by employing the "spiral development" approach, which rolls out
systems in small steps and then adds capabilities to the basic system as
they become available, he said.

"In an age when terrorists move information at the speed of an e-mail,
money at the speed of a wire transfer and people at the speed of a
commercial jetliner, the Defense Department, I regret to say, is bogged
down in bureaucratic processes of the Industrial Age -- not the Information
Age," Rumsfeld said. "Some of our difficulties are self-imposed, to be
sure. But some are the result of law and regulation. Together, they have
created a culture that too often stifles innovation."

The budget request also includes $1.8 billion over the next six years for a
Joint National Training Capability "to fund range improvements and permit
more of both live and virtual joint training," he said.

Army: A body of men assembled to rectify the mistakes of the diplomats. 
--Josephus Daniels


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia