5 Reasons The Army's New Battlefield Networking Strategy Won't Work

5 Reasons The Army's New Battlefield Networking Strategy Won't Work by Loren Thompson – Forbes

U.S. Army leaders held a breakfast with reporters last week in which they tried to explain their strategy for keeping soldiers connected in future fights. How to pierce the "fog of war" is a long-running theme in military circles, but with each new advance in communications technology, the discussion becomes harder to follow. Some people came away from the breakfast confused.

One person who did not was Breaking Defense deputy editor Sydney Freedberg. Freedberg has been following the twists and turns in Army technology plans for years, so he was able to discern what the bottom line was on the network briefing. As he put it, "there's no quick fix: The service is effectively starting over on what it's long described as its No.1 priority." After spending billions of dollars on next-generation tactical communications gear, Army leaders have decided it won't work and they need a different approach.

The new approach is called "halt-fix-pivot," by which planners mean they will stop buying half a dozen battlefield communications systems currently under development, fix deficiencies where they can, and then pivot to a new architecture. They don't know precisely what that architecture will be, but acting Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy intimated that it will be based largely on commercial technologies, particularly those used in smart phones.

This latest rethink in Army modernization was prompted by a May assessment out of the Institute for Defense Analyses -- a federally funded research center -- that identified numerous deficiencies in the Army's communications programs. Among other things, it said the battlefield network of the future was vulnerable to disruption by "near-peer" adversaries like Russia; required too much power and spectrum to operate; depended too much on satellite uplinks; and lacked sufficient range to maintain connectivity in a scattered, mobile fighting force.

These are all serious issues. However, the Army's strategy for addressing network shortfalls is not a serious response…

Read on.

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I like Devil's Advocates and I think the author makes some notable observations but fails in one large respect on number 5. The Army has been turned around in every other change of Presidential election. Reagan Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump. The issue isn't as simple as blaming our military leaders, Obama purged hundreds of military leaders and some are still under assault from elements of what we once termed the left. It makes it hard to fight an Insurgency in Iraq when a regime change has deemed Iraq and other operations as merely mirroring Vietnam. President Trump is as much under attack because of an ideological shift and a different position on Islam itself that has been ignored whether it is blaming Russian collusion when it fact it reads more like convolution and that the chief prosecutor Mueller was Obama's point man to remove any hint that military thinking was unkosher and put Terrorism and Islam on the same plate. The Army has its hands full just adjusting to dramatic changes every 4 to 8 years and then there are our enemies.