We need to innovate and upgrade war technology with the mission first in mind; and not replicate the success of Silicon Valley. Like it or not the decisions that have the greatest impact on our future happen in the federal government. Whether that decision has an impact here or abroad, the importance of computers cannot be understated. It’s true for everyone, imagine your life without a computer? Oh, but you’re not a cyborg. It’s same in the government, except you’re using Windows 10 and they’re using something older. A lack of technological sophistication and the inability to digest emerging technologies is putting us at risk abroad.
There are less vulnerable systems, such as a UNIX or Linux design. There are some ways we could protect our data, or streamline our processes. But that doesn’t happen.
I don’t know for sure, but nation states have rules when they do business. Communist ones don’t play by ours. Windows is used in China, Russia and all over the world. They ask for the source code to do business with them. Ergo, they have the source code – is it a big deal? I don’t know. But it feels vulnerable.
We’re already at the point where the country is desensitized when China rips personal data from OPM, almost like it’s an expectation. Of course, Chinese hackers broke into our secure government servers and stole information. It’s like they’re becoming our future IT consultants. It’d be OK – if we lose data – they’ve got it.
Yes, we have some gadgets – but not as many as you might think. Technological solutions and products that are under development are for a niche, specific function. Not to mention – our paperwork and bureaucracy make it cumbersome to operate without fear of violating a rule or two.
But, more so, the very technological architecture needs to update, and it isn’t suited to handle up-to-date software engineering. In the military, we’re obsessed with creating new tools to use in war, in a tactical sense. But, the future of wars to come will be fought in the streets, and via proxies. We’ll need communication tools that are reliable, competent, and secure – but ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) and the EAR (Export Administration Regulations) probably make some acquisitions and developments harder than they need to be. The only workaround is commercially available innovative products that anyone can have but is tailored and supported by SOF and the Intelligence Community. DIUx and In-Q-Tel are meant to provide an avenue unavailable, otherwise. The innovative tech geniuses in the valley are less interested in national security and more interested in their tech, proving their model and earning commercial success. After all, business success is the validation of tech start-ups. We are in a relatively short supply of those who are mission-driven in this space to defeat the enemy.
Featured image courtesy of http://www.allthatsepic.com/