Rumsfeld calls for Defense to upgrade its technology

Rumsfeld calls for Defense to upgrade its technology

By Matt McLaughlin

GCN Staff

Jan. 15—Donald H. Rumsfeld, President-elect George W. Bush's nominee for Secretary of Defense, placed information technology issues high on his agenda for the Defense Department during testimony before the Senate last week.

Defense faces 'the challenge of bringing the American military successfully into the 21st century,' Rumsfeld said Jan. 11 at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Rumsfeld said the United States must develop capabilities to defend against threats to the nation's information systems and space assets, as well as against missiles and terrorism. He also said DOD must take advantage of technological innovations that could improve the military.

One of his first duties, the nominee said, will be to order a comprehensive review of U.S. defense policy to create 'a sound understanding of the state of U.S. forces and their readiness to meet the 21st century security environment.'

To reach Bush's goals for DOD, one of five objectives Rumsfeld listed was to modernize U.S. command, control, communications, intelligence and space capabilities, calling them 'the foundation upon which U.S. military power is employed.' He also said Defense should reform its acquisition process to shed unneeded bureaucracy.

Rumsfeld previously was Defense secretary in 1975 and 1976 under President Gerald R. Ford. The Senate committee must wait until Bush's Jan. 20 inauguration before it can vote on Rumsfeld's confirmation.

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