LOS ANGELES New Defense Department information networks, like Global Information Grid Bandwith Extension, and the Transformational Satellite program, give an advantage of several hundred times to offensive forces over defensive forces, Assistant Secretary of Defense John Stenbit said at an Optical Fiber Communication conference plenary session Tuesday (Feb.24).
Stenbit, who heads up DoD efforts in networks and information integration, said that traditional warfare views assumed that the defense had an automatic advantage of 3x or more over offense. As DoD has taken advantage of new storage, processing, and bandwidth economies of scale, Stenbit said, a "Moore's Law" of warfare has taken effect.
"These days, the U.S. military operates where offense has an advantage of 300 to 1000 times over defense," Stenbit said. "You didn't know we were on the Moore's Law curve in the Pentagon, did you?"
Stenbit said that the revolution in information warfare began with regular use of the Global Broadcast System, a space-based method of distributing information that used downlinks for channel-specific information (radar, signals intelligence, HF communications) which was later "fused" and sent to the field.
While this was a vast improvement over past intelligence-distribution methods, it encouraged an information bureaucracy in the Pentagon, Stenbit said.
The new model assumes that tools like GIG-BE and the T-SAT satellite take broadband information distribution "closer to an Internet model," Stenbit said.
In GIG-BE, a network consisting of IP over Wave Division Multiplexing assigns single wavelengths to 100 bases worldwide that serve as "fusion centers." Multi-Protocol Label Switching methods are used to dynamically adjust the bandwidth going to each fusion center, which Stenbit called the "ynamic Bandwidth Reallocation, or DEBRA, model."
Stenbit thanked the audience as taxpayers for providing the DoD with $17 billion for moving to cheaper bandwidth utilization models.
But he warned the OFC attendees that last-mile distribution methods, whether the terrestrial Joint Tactical Radio System or the final links from the T-SAT satellite, weren't likely to be optically based.
"We do not believe in fiber to the warfighter," Stenbit said. "But we're convinced that wireless systems will allow us to have more flexible tails, serving soldiers in the field."