[LINK] Defence needs a plan for the Internet age
Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Sun May 3 13:36:08 EST 2009
The Australian Government released a detailed white paper on 2 May,
proposing to buy 12 large long range submarines and 100 stealth
aircraft <http://www.defence.gov.au/whitepaper/>. There is mention of
cyber warfare, but little other recognition of the role which ICT
will play in defence in the next 20 years.
Even if Australian can afford all the proposed hardware, it is
unlikely it could find, train and pay the personnel needed to operate
the equipment. It is likely that long before 2030, uninhabited
(unmanned) submarines, aircraft and vehicles will be commonly used.
Planning for this needs to start now. Otherwise Australian defence
personnel will be risking their lives in expensive, vulnerable and
outdated aircraft, ships and submarines.
The white paper is deficient in not mentioning "Internet" or "web" at
all. The section on cyber warfare envisages military personnel and
scientists operating a "Cyber Security Operations Centre". But
without civilian support from organisations such as AusCert, the ADF
will be vulnerable to cyber attack, as they will not be able to
maintain the needed expertise in-house.
The Australian Government envisages saving $20B a year to pay for the
new equipment. One way to do that is with better use of ICT in
Defence. Based on some experience in ICT at defence (including in the
military HQ), I suggest that will require a cultural change in the
way the Defence Department implements and uses ICT. Buying hi-tech
systems and then trying to adapt them to low tech management
practices does not work.
Excerpts from the white paper and more comments in my blog at:
Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617 http://www.tomw.net.au/
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Australian National University
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