Communication Technology: The New Mercenary [report]

Adam R. Ralston
2009 unpublished
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more » ... perations and Reports, 1215 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 1204, Arlington VA 22202-4302. Respondents should be aware that notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person shall be subject to a penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if it does not display a currently valid OMB control number. Same as Report (SAR) 18. NUMBER OF PAGES 13 19a. NAME OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON a. REPORT unclassified b. ABSTRACT unclassified c. THIS PAGE unclassified Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98) Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18 The Marine Corps no longer fights conventional battles. Today's enemies are not necessarily gun-toting combatants; they can be abstracts like hunger, poverty, and a lack of reliable information. When fighting both conventional and unconventional enemies at the same time, the challenge to stay informed with up-to-date intelligence at the lowest echelons of decentralized command can pose as big a problem as the insurgency itself. Fortunately, commercial technology is advancing at unprecedented rates, providing an ever-widening array of communication tools to keep the operational forced informed up and down the chain of command. Unfortunately, this commercial equipment comes at a cost: complex maintenance requirements or lack of experienced operators will mitigate the equipment's usefulness. In the end, the Marine Corps' overdependence on commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) communication equipment is weakening the Corps' ability to self-sustain by creating a reliance on warrantees and distant repair centers for maintenance and replacement, civilian contractors for technical support, and on-the-job training as the sole source of operator instruction.
doi:10.21236/ada517795 fatcat:cw2seyxy2zc6jhycjfkrzyyscq