The Army last week tried to lay out its “halt-fix-pivot” strategy for recasting how future battlefield communications should be organized. It didn’t make much sense. As Sydney Freedberg of Breaking Defense observed, there is a real danger that the Army will simply repeat the problems of the past. For starters, it has defined its goals so ambitiously that a satisfactory solution to tactical connectivity probably can’t be found. The Army’s own experience in trying to come up with something better over the last two decades belies the wisdom of starting over on such a complex undertaking. It says that it will lean heavily on commercial technologies to fix the system, but those were not designed for combat and are readily accessible to adversaries seeking to subvert them. If it really does halt current efforts to pursue a new plan, it will probably never catch up with rapidly evolving technology. Besides, the Army never sticks with a plan for more than a few years anyway. So what it needs to do is fix the systems it is already fielding rather than chasing the latest technological chimera. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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