2008 Information Sharing Challenges on a Multinational Scale

Conference Summary
Conference Summary

“We do nothing by ourselves,” stated Information Sharing Executive Debra Filippi, of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks & Information Integration, or OASD/NII. She referred to the many-faceted dimensions of information sharing across multiple agencies, partners, coalitions, and international organizations. Multinational operations are the norm today in combat, stability operations, or crisis intervention.

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Stability Operations Require Information Sharing

Aligning with the conference theme, Bill Barlow, deputy director of the Integrated Information Communications Technology office within the OASD/NII, emphasized that sharing unclassified information is essential to the success of stability and humanitarian operations.

He also said that unclassified information sharing and collaboration with non-DoD entities continues to be problematic. The DoD culture is “classify by default” rather than “share by default.” Over-classification of documents, cumbersome policies, and ad hoc networks have led to distrust by non-government organizations (NGOs) and numerous civilian agencies.

DoD leadership is now working to strengthen military support for stability and humanitarian operations by working with all entities, public and private, that contribute to mission success. All these initiatives are in line with DoD Directive 3000.05, which mandates that “stability operations are a core U.S. military mission that the Department of Defense shall be prepared to conduct and support. They shall be given priority comparable to combat operations.” The directive also states that information shall be shared among DoD, U.S. government, foreign governments, NGOs, and the private sector to “secure a lasting peace and facilitate the timely withdrawal of U.S. and foreign forces.”