The U.S. Joint Forces Command recently co-hosted the 2010 Joint Warfighting Conference in Virginia Beach. A major theme that came from this conference was the importance of information sharing.
“In this age, I don't care how technologically or operationally brilliant you are; if you cannot build trust [across various multiple participants], you might as well go home,“ said Marine Corps General James N. Mattis, commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command.
While this cultural shift posed some risks, such as information getting into the hands of the wrong people, Air Force Major General David Edgington, Join Force Command's chief of staff, said he believes it is a risk to all forces and a lot of circumstances information is withheld only due to bureaucratic reasons. Obviously, there are other circumstances when there are legitimate reasons to keep information private.
Edgington said: “We have the technology and the capability to gather more information and distribute it than other countries.“ He also mentions the culture changing from a “need-to-know“ to a “will-to-share“ basis.
DoD generals also discussed the importance of interoperability of equipment. The gap between equipment and technology between U.S. and allied forces should only be diminishing going forward.