Information Warfare: Italian Silicon Infantry

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February10, 2007: Italy is the latest nation to realize that it's troops have to be equipped with new communications and computer gear, to make them capable of "network-centric" operations. The Italians have first hand experience in Iraq, with American units equipped for this sort of thing. They note Germany, and other NATO countries, spending billions on this. So the Italians have budgeted $13 billion to buy the equipment needed to operate with a battlefield Internet capability.

Italy sees most of this capability being put to work on peacekeeping missions. Italy currently has over 10,000 troops deployed overseas in peacekeeping missions. This kind of work puts a premium on communications. The peacekeepers are usually outnumbered by the local bad guys, and need to keep an eye on a large amount of unfamiliar territory. The Italian effort is a common strategy among nations who are spending the large amounts of money to make their troops "digital." Many peacekeepers are already using satellite communications and UAVs, two major components of digital forces, and know that the stuff makes live a lot easier out there.

 


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