Australia plays multinational Web war games

The Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation's C3 Research Centre is participating in joint exercises with the US, UK, Canada and Germany this week to further battle-harden the information systems of Australia's Defence Forces.

Called Multinational Limited Objective Experiment II (or MN-LOE2), the exercises are designed to "…examine how to build a multinational operational net assessment in a distributed collaborative information environment" focusing on "multilevel security issues not yet addressed" according to the US Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) Web site.

The exercises, the second of four planned to take place from February 9 to 28 will test the "current method of information gathering and dissemination by running a multi-system test. All the information gathered will be parsed into separate systems, each of which can be accessed by certain nations". The exercises are believed to be part of ongoing testing of military Web-based applications using XML.

New York-based text mining vendor ClearForest claims its text-mining and software analysis tool will be heavily utilised and evaluated for its ability to enable military strategists to "quickly tag and analyse information from multiple sources, allowing partners to plan military response to a mock international crisis".

DSTO was not immediately able to comment publicly at time of press. Intriguingly, US Joint Forces Command JFCOM Public Affairs seemed to be experiencing some linguistic anomalies on its media page. Proving that military double speak is alive and well, it claims that the US Defence Department lists "multinational inoperability (sic) in their top ten" in terms of priorities laid down by US Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld.

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Julian Bajkowski

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