Janes: military should lead IT research

The "defence industry/military complex," not the commercial industry, should take the lead in developing information technology, says Peter Rackham, editor of the latest version of the British publishing company`s "Jane`s C4I Systems 1998-99" directory. "There is something seriously wrong when the military now follows, almost slavishly, the civilian commercial world in the development of information technology," Rackham writes. "There is nothing wrong with using civilian technology in itself - t

The "defence industry/military complex," not the commercial industry, should take the lead in developing information technology, says Peter Rackham, editor of the latest version of the British publishing company`s "Jane`s C4I Systems 1998-99" directory. "There is something seriously wrong when the military now follows, almost slavishly, the civilian commercial world in the development of information technology," Rackham writes. "There is nothing wrong with using civilian technology in itself - there is no point in `re-inventing the wheel` - but the development of core technologies should be in the hands of the defence industry/military complex." Military information technology experts should be paid at least as much as their counterparts in the private sector, Rackham asserts. "It is appalling that such techniques as virtual reality are more readily found in the amusement arcades than on the battlefield; that information systems in the dealing rooms of Wall Street and the City of London are of a sophistication of which military commanders can only dream." - J.K.

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