Science Board to Study Internet's Impact on Military Ops

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2006  - The Defense Science Board will conduct a summer study on a topic that would have been inconceivable when the Defense Department established the board 50 years ago this year: the military implications of Internet search engines, online journals and "blogs."

Kenneth Krieg, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics and a former Defense Science Board member himself, requested the study on "Information Management for Net-Centric Operations" to help evaluate the implications of the information network boom.

Krieg noted in a memo to the board the military's ever-increasing reliance on these networks and the way they increase the force's effectiveness. As information becomes more critical to military operations, the military will need to ensure it has the information networks needed to meet future challenges, he wrote.

"Our increasing ability to leverage information and networking will be a critical enabling factor in developing better ways to work with others in the (U.S. government) and with both coalition and nontraditional partners as we, collectively, undertake the challenging missions of the 21st century," he wrote.

That capability will be critical in stabilization and reconstruction missions. Krieg called access to information and collaboration among those who play a role in these missions "the lifeblood of military and civil-military operations."

And as new users demand more information, they'll want better tools for getting it and ways to ensure its security and reliability. "'Googling' and 'blogging' are making their way into military operations at all levels," Krieg wrote. "But the full implications of this revolution are as yet unknown, and we have no clear direction and defined doctrine."

Scientific and technical experts on the Defense Science Board will explore those implications during the summer study. The group will assess DoD's strategy, scope and progress toward achieving what Krieg called "a robust and adaptive net-centric DoD enterprise."

The Defense Science Board was established in 1956 to serve as an independent advisory body to DoD on scientific and technical matters.


Kenneth Krieg []

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