The U.S. Army faces big challenges in trying to sustain tactical communications links during future conflicts. Army leaders would like connectivity similar to that of an iPhone, but can’t count on access to cellular towers or buried fiber in war zones. Near-peer adversaries will be trying to jam or hack into battlefield networks, and communications satellites will be under attack too. What to do? The Army’s latest idea is to rely more heavily on commercial standards, software and hardware as a supplement to military-unique systems. The commercial technology may not be highly resilient in wartime, but if commanders have enough options for getting their messages through, enemy efforts to degrade links will be overwhelmed. Commercial technology might also be a lot easier for soldiers to understand and use. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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