2004-11-13

Pentagon baut "War Net"

--- Das Pentagon baut ein teures Hochleistungs-Internet nur f�r milit�rische Zwecke, berichtet die New York Times. Das Verteidigungsministerium will damit seine Ans�tze f�r die vielbeschworene Network-centric Warfare, die netzgest�tzte Kriegsf�hrung, auf leistungsf�higere Beine stellen: The goal is to give all American commanders and troops a moving picture of all foreign enemies and threats - "a God's-eye view" of battle. This "Internet in the sky," Peter Teets, under secretary of the Air Force, told Congress, would allow "marines in a Humvee, in a faraway land, in the middle of a rainstorm, to open up their laptops, request imagery" from a spy satellite, and "get it downloaded within seconds." The Pentagon calls the secure network the Global Information Grid, or GIG. Conceived six years ago, its first connections were laid six weeks ago. It may take two decades and hundreds of billions of dollars to build the new war net and its components. Skeptics say the costs are staggering and the technological hurdles huge. Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet and a Pentagon consultant on the war net, said he wondered if the military's dream was realistic. "I want to make sure what we realize is vision and not hallucination," Mr. Cerf said. "This is sort of like Star Wars, where the policy was, 'Let's go out and build this system,' and technology lagged far behind,'' he said. "There's nothing wrong with having ambitious goals. You just need to temper them with physics and reality." ... Robert J. Stevens, chief executive of the Lockheed Martin Corporation, the nation's biggest military contractor, said he envisioned a "highly secure Internet in which military and intelligence activities are fused," shaping 21st-century warfare in the way that nuclear weapons shaped the cold war. ... Pentagon traditionalists, however, ask if net-centric warfare is nothing more than an expensive fad. They point to the street fighting in Falluja and Baghdad, saying firepower and armor still mean more than fiber optic cables and wireless connections. But the biggest challenge in building a war net may be the military bureaucracy. For decades, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines have built their own weapons and traditions. A network, advocates say, would cut through those old ways. The ideals of this new warfare are driving many of the Pentagon's spending plans for the next 10 to 15 years. Some costs are secret, but billions have already been spent. Providing the connections to run the war net will cost at least $24 billion over the next five years - more than the cost, in today's dollars, of the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb. Beyond that, encrypting data will be a $5 billion project. Einen sch�nen Technikspielplatz mit zahlreichen Absahnm�glichkeiten f�r die beteiligten Firmen will Rumsfeld da also bieten, der Nutzen des War Net ist dagegen umstritten, zumal sich zivile Einsatzm�glichkeiten nicht sofort abzeichnen. Aber schlie�lich legte das Pentagon mit dem DARPAnet (bzw. ARPAnet) ja auch den Grundstein f�r das heutige Internet, Fortentwicklungen befinden sich also zumindest medienhistorisch in guter Gesellschaft.