Information Management in Iraq

As something of a follow-on to yesterday’s post on the military’s satellite bandwidth use, have a look at some C4I observations from Iraq.

Produced by Colonel Timothy Kokinda of the 18th Airborne Corps, the presentation (370KB Powerpoint file) is entitled “Battle Command and C4I Observations, Lessons Learned, and Recommendations” and paints a less-than-encouraging picture of the challenges facing commanders in the field, while in part explaining why the military uses such staggering amounts of bandwidth – centralization is nigh-on non-existant, information-sharing tools are many and incompatible, information available at any given moment is often fragmentary, and systems complexity is ever increasing:

Battle Command Information Challenges

More than 300 non-interoperable databases, eighty-two thousand radio frequencies used, more than forty domains and networks… It’s really rather amazing anyone has any idea what’s going on at any given moment.

Net-centric warfare is the big cool thing the military wants to embrace, the cross-platform, multi-sevice way of the future. Looking at the big picture right now, though, it seems the defense department might be better off trying to fully integrate, manage, and utilize the resources they already have, before upping the complexity by an order of magnitude or more. “Standards for interoperability are non-existant or unenforceable,” another slide adds, probably summing up the entire I4C problem in a single sentance. Interoperability doesn’t happen without standards, and standards that aren’t enforceable are worse than useless.

The presentation, from earlier this month, is a grim picture of the information challenges facing military commanders in Iraq, and deserves a read. For the Powerpoint-challenged, we’ve created a PDF version of the original (645KB.)

Published in: Geekiness, General, Security | on May 24th, 2007| Comments Off on Information Management in Iraq

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.