Lawmaker: Intelligence will cut threat

Rep. Curt Weldon

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.'A key step in preventing high-tech weapons from being used by terrorists or rogue nations is improving intelligence capabilities, Rep. Curt Weldon told an audience of Army chieftains last month.

Agencies can accomplish this through the use of data-mining software 'to do profiling against the bad guys,' the Pennsylvania Republican said at an Army conference on homeland defense. Specifically, Weldon pointed to data-mining tools such as the Information Dominance System the Army is developing at Fort Belvoir, Va.

Daniel Weiner, CIO for the Army Reserves, agreed that 'the key to reducing the threat is intelligence.'

Soon, Weiner said, the military will engage in 'information sharing on a need-to-share basis, not a need-to-know basis.'

Weldon said the military is far ahead of civilian agencies and state and local organizations in this area, but he faulted military leaders for hoarding technologies that could benefit more people.

'In the year 2003 and 2004, we've got to work smarter, to do more collaboration, to transfer technology quicker,' he said.

To illustrate his point, he recalled rescue attempts in San Francisco several years ago after a freeway collapsed in an earthquake and first responders dug through debris trying to find people.

'I thought, 'Why aren't they using thermal imagers?' ' he said. 'The military developed them 15 years ago. We pay for technology in the military and don't transfer that knowledge to the civilian world.'

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