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WASHINGTON: A combat patrol is four soldiers walking, under orders to look for trouble and react to it. For most of modern history, infantry squads have been the military’s principal sensors, forcing an enemy to respond, allowing American forces to judge the situation and respond. But that is an always risky, often bloody way to generate intelligence.
“Essentially, you are asking them to troll for trouble,” the retired vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Hoss Cartwright, told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies today.

But the squad’s role is changing, part of a monumental shift underway in the US military, as enormously powerful computers gather data from a huge array of sources and turn that data into predictive tools. Keep reading →


Top military officials are finally getting a chance to see first hand how tablet computers and smartphones other than their trusted BlackBerrys might work in the line of duty.

As part of previously undisclosed program, 200 mobile devices – including iPads, iPhones, Samsung Galaxy tablets and smartphones – have been issued to senior military personnel: 100 to top leadership in the Pentagon and another 100 to key staff at major commands such as Army Cyber Command and the Training and Doctrine Command. Keep reading →

Reaping the Benefits of a Global Defense Industry

Greg Sanders CSIS photo

  As the Defense Department’s budget goes down, the number of contracts awarded without competitive bids is going up. The share of contracts awarded without competition has risen from 39 percent in 2009 to 42 percent in 2012, according to a report I co-authored with Jesse Ellman and Rhys McCormick on DoD Contracting Trends. The news for… Keep reading →