RealNews

Planning for the Next Cyberwar

Buoyed by its decisive win in Iraq, the Pentagon is betting billions that the information technology system that helped defeat Saddam Hussein will evolve into a more potent weapon than cluster bombs and howitzers. Department of Defense futurists call it network-centric warfare. Other military strategists simply refer to it as the digital war. The first Gulf War was analog, they say. This one was digital. Digital it may have been — using real-time video images to target missiles in flight, wireless PDAs to connect with stateside medical records from the battlefield, and virtual-reality simulations to provide just-in-time delivery of material to front-line troops. But the nascent version of network-centric warfare waged in Iraq was but a pixilated, low-res harbinger of computer combat to come. “The end of the Cold War has produced an arena where threats are amorphous and evasive (and) not easy to attack,” said Dr. Allan Steinhardt of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Information Exploitation Office, who noted that the wartime need for unambiguous, precise information on the battlefield “has never been more important.” Full Story

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