Essay Campaign #3: Big Data and War

Summer Essay Campaign #3: “Big Data and War”

To Answer Question #4: “How does information (Big Data and YouTube) affect the conduct of war?”

By Major Dan Sukman

With the proliferation of modern technology, and the rise of social media sites such as youtube, facebook, instagram and twitter, Soldiers on the modern battlefield will find themselves operating in a persistent information environment.  Essentially, every action on the battlefield has a probability of reaching audiences across the globe in a matter of seconds.  The effects of a persistent operating environment are profound; they will change how both our adversaries operate and how the U.S. joint force operates.

            Adversaries will take advantage of the persistent operating environment by leveraging “big data” to eliminate any possibility of strategic surprise the United States seeks to gain in movement of forces across the globe.  Adversaries will have the capability to link together a wide variety of remote sensing capabilities and develop a much more robust ability for early detection, identification and tracking of U.S. forces.  In essence, adversaries will have the capacity to conduct real-time monitoring and reporting of joint force movements.  Historical advantages of stealth and initiative employed by U.S. commanders will be increasingly difficult to attain.

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