Best Defense

Vote for your favorite essay on how the US military needs to adapt to the 21st century

Here are the 21 entries that I ran in the essay contest about the one thing the U.S. military needs to do most to adapt to the Information Age. Now it is time to vote for the one you think is best.

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Here are the 21 entries that I ran in the essay contest about the one thing the U.S. military needs to do most to adapt to the Information Age. Not surprisingly, a lot of them were about cyber. But a surprising number also were about military personnel policy, which junior officers especially seem to feel is anachronistic.

Now it is time to vote for the one you think is best. You get two votes. Please send them as “First choice: Number xx” and “Second choice: Number YY.” You can either post your vote in the comments, or e-mail to me using the address over on the right under the ugly drawing of me. Please do within the next two weeks. Results will be posted at the beginning of June.

One of these essays — no. 13 — already has been republished elsewhere.

1. Information control is the desired effect, so cyber will be key in limited warfare — especially non-kinetic

2. Say farewell to linearity and brace yourself for the dispersed mass

3. To bring the military into the Information Age, get and keep the right people — often as couples

4. Use technology to strip terrorists and insurgents of anonymity

5. Embrace the new tactics & learn to troll, flame, and pwn

6. We need personnel aware of a new electronic environment and also to move away from COTS

7. We need to learn how to cut through the new megadata fog of war

8. Ain’t no silver bullet out there. We already are innovating, and most of these contest essays are bullshit.

9. What should we change? Let’s start with our culture

10. Counterintuitively, Info Age warfare will be all about people

11. The info revolution has arrived — but don’t tell our PME system

12. We need to get back on the road to technological dominance

13. We need effective operations in the realm of social media | also at Stars and Stripes

14. We need to develop organizations that embrace innovation

15. We’ve lost the first wars of the Information Age, so it is time to revamp the military personnel system

16. What we need to do is admit that we are unable to win our wars

17. We need an Information Age personnel system

18. We need to broaden and change how we think about conflict

19. The military needs a more innovative cyber force structure

20. Capitalize on native speakers of the digital languages

21. For the user, innovation is needed, expensive, & tricky

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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