New strategy calls on Defense to streamline IT

If the Defense Department wants to succeed in the years to come at fighting wars and protecting the nation against foreign threats, it must revamp its business processes and technology, a new Pentagon plan concludes.

The department's National Defense Strategy, released last month by secretary Donald Rumsfeld, noted that 'transformational change is not limited to operational forces. We also want to change long-standing business processes within the department to take advantage of IT.'

DOD also released the National Military Strategy last month. Both plans will guide U.S. efforts to protect the nation against terrorism, war, weapons of mass destruction and other threats.

The documents are building blocks for next year's sweeping Quadrennial Defense Review, the chief risk assessment done by the department every four years. DOD updates the defense strategy every two years.

In the National Defense Strategy, Rumsfeld said the department is moving toward an even greater joint, interoperable command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance structure.

'Continuing advances in information and communications technologies hold promise for networking highly distributed joint and combined forces,' according to the 25-page plan. 'Transforming to a network-centric force requires fundamental changes in processes, policy and culture.'

Rumsfeld outlined Pentagon plans to shift to a 'global force management' model that will let it quickly expand the number of troops available anywhere in the world.

The strategy calls for deploying U.S. military forces from a global perspective rather than a regional one.

About the Authors

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.


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