Topic D: Future Technologies and Directions for Research

Advances in technology have given us greater and greater information warfare capabilities. However, we are now reaping the research and development seeds sowed years ago. What should we do now to promote continued technological progress and greater information warfare potential in the future?

[Cebrowski] We must remain tethered to those R&D labs and think tanks conducting leading edge research with an eye at spotting potential trends that may support future C4I/IW architectures. The DoD should not fund in-house efforts which are in effect competing with industry; rather, efforts should only address uniquely military needs.

[Cohen] Plant more seeds. The way we sponsor research today is poor in terms of long-term rewards, and we will pay the price for our lack of vision.

Specifically: - we put up too much money per research grant - we should sponsor many more lower dollar value pure research projects - say $100K/year maximum - we fund many projects that are foolish - we should have better peer review that identifies foolish (impossible) research as opposed to risky (unlikely) research and not fund the latter - but fund the former. - we don't fund projects with less than a 90% chance of success - the system is designed to put too many rewards on successful completion and delivery of results - real research - especially far reaching research - is more risky than this. Conservatism is leading to mundane results.

[Garigue] Only education can continue to spur the innovation process. Continued support for higher education, funding for unique programs of studies, supporting higher education through part time studies etc. all these initiatives will help engender the new solutions. Furthermore, cross disciplinary programs, as well as mentorship program within industry and other governmental agencies will help. IW is not solely a military problem. Let's cycle a few of our information warriors through banking information system positions as if they were military exchange positions.

[Gust] This is the R&D versus Production decision that our leaders in the Pentagon have to deal with on a daily basis. There has to be a balance because future R&D is needed, yet "freeze and field" the available technology must be done to modernize weapon systems. Probably what we need are more efforts aimed at P3I of existing weapons platforms and fewer attempts to have new start weapons programs.

[Hazlett] Government should pick up a portion of the R&D tab, maybe even acting as a coordinating agency, matching pooled funds with problems and providers.

[Probst] The U.S. technology system will produce many of the products the DoD needs. The government will have to do some things. Computing professionals and the American public must understand the truth of Jim Clark's statement: "Getting the government involved in maintaining Internet data privacy ... [is] going to be necessary". Since I see Defensive Information Warfare as the genuine long-term need, I would say:

- sponsor high-quality cryptography and information-security conferences - coordinate the gradual replacement of the current Internet by something more secure - increase the funding priority of research in High-Confidence Systems

Basically, map those areas where market forces themselves are unlikely to encourage the development of necessary security tools, standards, policies, etc., etc., and invest in the margins. I speculate that progress in Defensive Information Warfare will give the U.S. as much as it needs in Offensive Information Warfare. If I may make a statement, it has some similarities with understanding chemical and bacteriological warfare: we want to know how it works, but we might have either moral scruples or other reasons for not doing all the dirty tricks that are feasible.

Now, how do we get an Integrated Battlespace Management System? Either a defense contractor puts the pieces together, and prototypes, or Pentagon brass put the pieces together, and call for a prototype.

----------- [Moderator] What are the future enabling technologies of information warfare?

[Campen] Again, it's not so much technology as it is the human-machine interfaces that allow us to exploit technology.

[Cochrane] Increased computer processor capability enabling rapid development of artificial intelligence and chameleon or polymorphic software which will hide its true identity and purpose.

[Cohen] Information technologies? This emphasis on technology is the wrong way to build the long-range future. The emphasis should be on understanding. De-emphasize systems, concentrate on concepts.

[Dunnigan] Common sense and respect (and detailed knowledge of) for what has gone before.

[Garigue] Easy high-level, end user programming capabilities will become essential as they permit rapid development of new information warfare and decision support programs. Being able to build a program will help users respond rapidly to new and emerging information needs. Visual programming, distributed software objects, scripting languages, and modular software will enable the user to rapidly enhance his information environment with new programs. So whatever new process is required it can be built by the end user himself. This will also shorten the time between requirements, specification, and development.

Also, as we will be faced with much more information than before, we will need to develop new types of knowledge management tools to monitor, collect, assess, filter, and aggregate data into information. Faster and more sophisticated clustering and classification techniques are required. Natural language interpretation and understanding based on cognitive modalities will help the query processes and enable a more useful dialogue between the human and the computer.

As information becomes more complex, there will be a requirement for high end visualization. Visualization permits greater transfer bandwidth between the human and the computer. Simulation will be integrated and continually used in all training and planning processes. Virtual Reality will also permit visualization as well as enable full sensory interaction with all types of data and information. VR will also play a significant role in support of individual and group decision support environments.

[Gust] Clearly, the expansion into frequency ranges using gigahertz as the unit of measure is the future. The existing and limited size of lower HF, VHF, UHF bands demands this extension. The technologies that will make the use of higher frequencies possible, like the millimeter wave solid state devices of today, need to be exploited.

[Hazlett] Offensive: jamming, global positioning systems, satellites, computers. Defensive: crypto, stealth, computers.

[King] Semiconductors (processors), optics (communications), cryptology, machine learning algorithms, data mining techniques, visualization, simulation of very large complex systems.

[Probst] - programmable petaflops computers - high-performance virtual networks - high-confidence systems - software infrastructure for high-performance data assimilation and analysis - optical stores and interconnect - directed-energy weapons - ubiquitous information security including strong cryptography - advanced modelling and simulation technologies - unconventional man-machine interfaces (e.g., personal interfaces) - also, the six Strategic Focus Areas of the CIC [Committee on Information and Communication] for HPCC [High Performance Computing and Communications]

[Schwartau] Uh uh! That comes out in IW2. I must be circumspect here. :-) [Note: IW2 is Mr. Schwartau's forthcoming book].

[Steele] Education of the individual from birth and continuing through their entire life.

----------- [Moderator] Given the military's limited research and development funding, what specific research should it conduct? What specific technologies and methodologies should it support?

[Campen] Same as above. Study how to exploit the commercial technology to dominate your opponent.

[Cebrowski] We should be willing to apply a small percentage of overall R&D funding for pure research...divorced from a procurement tail. There are tremendous benefits of developing intellectual property that allows us a glimpse of future capabilities and trends without overstressing the current PPBS [Planning, Programming and Budgeting] system. (See response above)

[Cochrane] Secure distributed computing platforms, resilient public network infrastructures, automated software creation processes based upon a formally defined object structures, studies of complex systems including self organisation and auto healing techniques.

[Cohen] The question as put reflects on the thinking of the person asking the questions and in my view on the organization as a whole.

"what specific research should it conduct?" "What specific technologies and methodologies should it support?"

Specific research seems to reflect research directed toward a specific (usually operational) need. In my opinion, we need non-specific research into information warfare. Understanding specific technologies and methodologies might be a useful result that could be derived from the research we should be doing. I think a good start would be to fund research into what long-term research results we will need to be effective in IW over the next 20 years. I would be very happy to do this research, but so far, the only things I have seen accepted by the DoD as research projects are the development of systems to meet specific operational needs. In other words, military R&D is in a purely reactive and development mode_reacting to current needs and weaknesses by developing new systems_rather than a proactive mode_trying to understand what future needs may be and trying to understand what we don't yet understand.

[Dunnigan] People, in and out of uniform, who can do what has to be done. It's cheaper to cultivate the right people than to try and keep up with the commercial sector in spending. The money will not be there.

[Garigue] Security is paramount, so work on trusted-objects and trusted-processes is very critical to information warfare. Also new ways of clustering computers together to augment computational power and availability is important because one can then use low end technology to create high end computational networks that are survivable and flexible.

[Gust] This question needs to be asked of a combined arms team of users, researchers and materiel developers. One part of the community cannot answer this question alone.

[Hazlett] Realize that there are other parties with the same interests and start working with them, rather than trying to "go it alone." Where possible, team with other organizations, such as academia, and businesses. Where it is not possible, due to unique requirement(s), team with consistent allies, with like needs, such as Britain, Canada, and Australia. If it exists elsewhere, don't be afraid to buy it, or outbid others (it may be cheaper, in the long run).

[King] The emphasis should be on software and systems and not hardware. There are many research problems to be solved in the area of the effective, secure management of very large networks and systems.

[Probst] Two things:

- insist on programmable high-speed computers - insist on virtual networks connecting distributed objects with bandwidth negotiation


- Insular technologies for mission critical commercial infrastructures - Improved quality assurance - Post-Information Warfare technologies

I have no doubt there's more, but I have a hell of a cold. :-)

[Steele] The military today in the U.S.A. is something like the military in the Third World (Luttwak's point) in that it is one of the last true national cadres of trained, disciplined, loyal people. If the military would stop lying to itself and others at the Service and ASD [Assistant Secretary of Defense] level, and share what it has learned about our vulnerabilities and gaps with the private sector, much of what we need would be developed at no cost to the government. Unfortunately, the areas where the military most needs development that will not be funded by the private sector is in the area of support to small Special Operations teams, and to the tactical commander dealing with the 10 klick problem, and these are not massive sexy programs. The military should focus on "niche" R&D.

----------- [Moderator] How should the military conduct technology investment programs with traditionally non-defense companies (like Sun, Microsoft, Motorola, etc.) who are now key suppliers of information technology?

[Campen] Probably not a cost-effective investment. Military has no leverage. Instead, take what they produce and learn how to run faster with it than the competition.

[Cochrane] See previous replies noting that robustness is also a high priority commercial issue. The development of an active aggression capability may well require traditional military funding.

[Cohen] The military should not be investing in those well-established commercially successful firms. Those firms can support themselves. The military should be putting out specifications for its long-range purchasing requirements to help guide the large firms that want to sell to the military so that they can make their long-term investments into the technologies the military will buy. The investment should be made in small high-tech firms and small high-risk high-payoff projects.

[Dunnigan] Don't act like know-it-alls. The non-military people have more experience at this sort of thing. Don't be lulled by stories of commercial firms that are clueless. There are always lots of those. Concentrate on the commercial outfits that have the goodies.

[Garigue] As we evolve our traditional command and control information systems towards coordination, communication, and cooperation of information systems, we will be relying more and more on commercial key suppliers to deliver all the building blocks the military will use in support of defense and national security objectives. I believe that most of our present military information systems problems have already available solutions. For example, the recent "24 hour in Cyberspace" mission control (at www.sun.com_how did they do it?), has a lot of the same characteristics of an advanced Information Warfare command center. It had a DMZ [De-Militarized Zone], Clean LAN [Local Area Network], collection, analysis, and production centers, mirrored repository sites, and CERT [Computer Emergency Response Team] groups. The military will have to divest itself from not "invented here" syndrome so it can recognize ready made solutions. Future technology investments might not increase the information differential so much as an "Information Warfare Personnel" investment program.

[Gust] Key companies like Sun and Motorola have large divisions devoted to the government sector. They are coming to us.

[Hazlett] As if they were in it as a business_getting the most bang for the buck. Provide incentive or seed funding to lead R&D efforts in directions of government interest.

[King] I do not think there is any one answer here. One way is to cooperate with them in the funding of research at universities and research centers. It would be very useful to have more exchange of people between the military and these companies on rotational assignments but this is easier to talk about than to do.

[Probst] Be sensitive to investments in the margin. Look for future military-critical technologies in small companies.

[Schwartau] The model is the same as it is today. The Chinese Wall works. Look at the way that academia is handled. I don't see any conundrum here.

[Steele] In the IW arena, "non-defense" is an oxymoron. The military has one unique advantage in this era_its legitimate pre-occupation with security and survivability has made it sensitive to vulnerabilities and needs that are now essential for home defense and economic prosperity in the private sector. The military needs to teach rather than invest.