how to speed up the development of military technologies, given the Department of Defense’s big budgets and big programs.
It is also important, particularly when operating in a culture such as Afghanistan, to design and build technology in the service of processes rather than attempting to adapt processes to the technology. “I use a sidewalk analogy,” he said. “We build sidewalks coming out of a building at a 90 degree angle because it looks good, but kids will come out the door and they’ll cut across the front lawn, and over time there’s a new path built by the shortest walk between two points. We’ve got to be careful that we don’t bring this 90-degree attitude and 90-degree culture into a society that’s looking for the shortest path between two points. Again, we’ve got to build technology based on the processes that exist, and it will improve those processes.”
Finally, he said, it is important to develop ways to speed up the sharing of information across both technical and cultural barriers. “We designed the Four Eyes system post-World War II [a system for intelligence sharing among the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Australia], and then Five Eyes [intelligence sharing among Four Eyes plus New Zealand], and now we’ve got eleven eyes for certain things,” he said. “We have to look at how we share information in a world where information is just exploding.” With both the number of partners and the amount of information increasing, it is becoming increasingly challenging to share information while keeping it protected from those who should not have access to it.