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Can You Hear Me Now? The Case for Considering Information and Communications Technology as a Critical Component of Future Postconflict Operations

By Karen E. Black, Larry Wentz, and Sebastian Megens-Sedor Defense & Technology Paper

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Executive Summary 

Can You Hear Me Now?Information and communications technology (ICT) is vital to modern post-conflict security, stability, reconstruction, and development operations for both the intervening civil-military elements and the affected nation. 

The U.S. Government should designate ICT as critical infrastructure and an essential service on par with roads, power, and water and grant it the same priority regarding resource allocation and funding. Research continues to demonstrate the efficacy of ICT as a powerful enabler of security, governance, social development, and economic growth in post-conflict and developing countries. 

The U.S. Government and the International Community should formally address ICT in OCONUS policy and doctrine and designate lead agencies responsible for coordinating OCONUS civil-military ICT efforts. 

The U.S. Government should consider ICT in all phases of future engagements—preparation, planning, execution, drawdown, and transition—so as to more fully and effectively leverage ICT to achieve mission goals. There is a definitive need for the U.S. Government to include a civil and commercial ICT advisory function as a core capability in future interventions. Such an entity would support decision-making by leadership, coordinate ICT efforts with the US Interagency and the International Community, and advise the affected nation on the recovery and rehabilitation of its ICT sector.

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