Military Information Technology Systems

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RAND was at the forefront of early computer science and information technology innovations, building computers in the 1950s to improve researchers' military modeling capabilities and developing data communications technologies that were the forerunner of the Internet. Today, RAND researchers provide objective evaluations to military leadership and recommend policies and best practices to support continued technological innovation, adoption, and protection of critical military systems.

  • Artificial intelligence concept of eye with overlay of military helicopter and submarine, images by 4X-image/Getty Images; design by Jessica Arana/RAND Corporation

    Report

    Thinking Machines Will Change Future Warfare

    Jan 27, 2020

    Until now, deterrence has been about humans trying to dissuade other humans from doing something. But what if the thinking is done by AI and autonomous systems? A wargame explored what happens to deterrence when decisions can be made at machine speeds and when states can put fewer human lives at risk.

  • AI robot pressing a nuclear launch button.

    Article

    How Artificial Intelligence Could Increase the Risk of Nuclear War

    Apr 24, 2018

    Advances in AI have provoked a new kind of arms race among nuclear powers. This technology could challenge the basic rules of nuclear deterrence and lead to catastrophic miscalculations.

Explore Military Information Technology Systems

  • People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo

    Commentary

    Decoding the Breach: The Truth About the CENTCOM Hack

    When ISIS hackers hijacked the Twitter account of U.S. Central Command on Jan. 12, they falsely claimed that they had hacked into U.S. military computers. While the incident was embarrassing, it was not concerning in operational military terms. It was, however, damaging to the counterinsurgency against ISIS.

    Feb 3, 2015

  • An exercise at the Joint Cyber Control Center

    Report

    The Other Quiet Professionals: Lessons for Future Cyber Forces from the Evolution of Special Forces

    Both special operations forces and cyber forces are small teams of highly skilled specialists, and both communities value skilled personnel above all else. What lessons can be drawn from a review of the commonalities, similarities, and differences between U.S. cyber forces and early U.S. special forces?

    Oct 3, 2014

  • Tinker Air Force Base Computing Center

    Report

    Cost Considerations in Cloud Computing

    Until the Department of Defense develops official guidance for cost analysis of cloud and data centers, examining cost drivers for several data management approaches can help guide DoD analysts.

    Oct 2, 2014

  • Line handlers await the arrival of the Virginia class attack submarine USS Hartford

    Commentary

    How Do We Deal with a Flood of Data?

    Despite the battle-tested value of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems, the amount of data they generate has become overwhelming to Navy analysts. If the Navy does not change the way it processes information, it will reach an ISR “tipping point”—as soon as 2016.

    Jun 23, 2014

  • News Release

    News Release

    'Cloud' System Could Help Navy Analysts Consume Expanding Ocean of Data

    The Navy has a growing demand for intelligence to help Navy vessels avoid collisions, pinpoint targets, and perform other vital tasks. But the amount of data it may collect in the future is more than it can process today. Cloud strategies offer promising options.

    May 5, 2014

  • intelligence specialist monitors automatic identification systems aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush

    Report

    'Cloud' System Could Help Navy Analysts Consume Expanding Ocean of Data

    The Navy has a growing demand for intelligence to help Navy vessels avoid collisions, pinpoint targets, and perform other vital tasks. But the amount of data it may collect in the future is more than it can process today. “Cloud” strategies offer promising options.

    May 1, 2014

  • Report

    Report

    Lessons Learned from the Afghan Mission Network: Developing a Coalition Contingency Network

    Reviews and assesses the operational and technical history of the Afghan Mission Network, the primary network for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, and identifies lessons learned for future coalition networks.

    Mar 28, 2014

  • Haleakala Observatory — AEOS 3.67-meter telescope is the largest in the Department of Defense.

    Report

    A Sixty-Year Timeline of the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site

    Since it was built in the 1950s, the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site's mission, management structure, and operational partners have changed several times to accommodate the contemporary challenges and research tools. This timeline documents some of those historical changes.

    Dec 16, 2013

  • Soldiers quickly walk to the ramp of the CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopter that will return them to Kandahar Army Air Field.

    Report

    Improving Readiness Reporting for an Adaptive Army

    The Army has developed an impressive capacity to adapt to emerging requirements by providing units with new capabilities rapidly and flexibly. While the readiness reporting system still works as originally intended, however, the current readiness reporting system captures only a portion of the adaptations readily seen in recent years.

    Oct 10, 2013

  • A soldier with the Army's intelligence community demonstrated use of a portion of the Army's Distributed Common Ground System

    Commentary

    Calling for a Time-Out in the Army Intelligence Software Debate

    The Army's Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) program has been getting much attention from Congress, and its future was the subject of a heated exchange between the Army's Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno and Representative Duncan Hunter in May.

    Aug 21, 2013

  • 24th MEU,Realistic Urban Training,RUT,Sgt. Richard Blumenstein

    Report

    Brandishing Cyberattack Capabilities

    No one knows quite what would happen if a country suffered a full-fledged cyberattack, despite the plethora of skirmishes. But while cyberattack capabilities cannot easily be used to shape the behavior of others, this does not mean they cannot be used at all.

    May 13, 2013

  • binary cyber wave graphic

    Report

    Redefining Information Warfare Boundaries for an Army in a Wireless World

    The U.S. Army is studying ways to apply its cyber power and is reconsidering doctrinally defined areas related to cyberspace operations. Clarifying the overlap between network and information operations and other areas could inform Army doctrine.

    Jan 16, 2013

  • Running a test in a U.S. Air Force cyber lab

    Blog

    A Cybercrisis Is Inevitable — and Manageable

    The United States can manage a cybercrisis by taking steps to reduce the incentives for other states to step into crisis, by controlling the narrative, understanding the stability parameters of the crises, and trying to manage escalation if conflicts arise.

    Jan 9, 2013

  • Report

    Report

    Cybercrises Can Be Managed with Multiple Strategies

    The chances are growing that the United States will find itself in a crisis in cyberspace. Such crises can be managed by taking steps to reduce the incentives for other states to step into crisis, by controlling the narrative, understanding the stability parameters of the crises, and trying to manage escalation if conflicts arise from crises.

    Jan 3, 2013

  • Report

    Report

    Rapid Acquisition and Fielding for Information Assurance and Cyber Security in the Navy

    The U.S. Navy requires an agile, adaptable acquisition process that can field new IT capabilities and services quickly. Successful rapid acquisition programs in the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps offer lessons for the Navy as it develops its own streamlined processes for computer network defense and similar program areas.

    Dec 21, 2012

  • Report

    Report

    Equipment Sustainment Data in Standard Army Management Information Systems: Needs, Gaps, and Opportunities

    Effective ''cradle-to-grave'' management of weapon and materiel systems requires ongoing assessment of life cycle sustainment data -- information about the operation, support, and disposal of Army equipment -- available in Standard Army Management Information Systems.

    Jul 9, 2012

  • Report

    Report

    CANES Contracting Strategies for Full Deployment

    Examines contracting alternatives for the full deployment phase of the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services system, intended to give the U.S. Navy a common set of key command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence networks.

    May 24, 2012

  • Report

    Report

    Improving Joint Expeditionary Medical Planning Tools Based on a Patient Flow Approach

    The authors propose a planning concept for U.S. military expeditionary medical care that promotes patient flow rate as the common unit of measurement for treatment and evacuation functions.

    Apr 24, 2012

  • Soldiers assigned to a survey team from Task Force Castle survey a proposed site for a new observation post in Afghanistan, July 11, 2008

    Report

    Army Networks Enable Shared Situational Awareness and Unity of Action

    The ability of U.S. forces to gather, process, and disseminate battlespace information in a networked fashion has given them an advantage in major combat operations. The Army should extend the network to lower echelons; expand it to include host nation, coalition, and other U.S. government partners; and invest more time in developing informal networks.

    Mar 13, 2012

  • Report

    Report

    Information Systems Technician Rating Stakeholders: Implications for Effective Performance

    Discusses the relationships among stakeholders involved in manpower, personnel, and training processes for managing the U.S. Navy information systems technician rating.

    Nov 18, 2011