US Army Falling Behind in Digital Communication

Senior Army officials are increasingly concerned that they are missing out on the iRevolution, i.e., “the breakneck development of cheap digital communications including cell phones, digital cameras and Web 2.0 Internet sites such as blogs and Facebook,” according to Wired.

That helps explain how “just one man in a cave that’s hooked up to the Internet has been able to out-communicate the greatest communications society in the history of the world—the United States,” says the US Army Secretary Pete Geren.

One solution: “Find a blog to be a part of,” Geren said.

But embracing that high-tech, second language could be hard for the Army, just as it poses challenges for the defense industry.”I was talking to a senior executive this week, one of our major defense contractors,” Geren recounted. “And he said that they’ve assigned a young person to every senior executive to be like his or her translator and connect with the new information technologies.”

At the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, a tiny office of Web-savvy mavericks is creating Army-specific Web 2.0 tools (blogs, forums, social networks) for soldiers. Meanwhile, the Air Force, the Pentagon’s main agency for “cyberwarfare,” continues to  view the Internet primarily as a battlefield to be “dominated.”

Patrick Philippe Meier

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