Cloud Computing: The Way Ahead for Stability Operations

  • Commander Robert P. Johns

Even during a time of reduced budgets, the United States will continue to support worldwide stability efforts as part of its foreign policy and national security strategy. Accordingly, U.S. national interests are best served by partnering with other countries, international agencies, and non-governmental organizations to conduct stability operations effectively. Integral to any stability operation is information sharing to coordinate the efforts of all stakeholders involved. With a myriad of existing information systems and capabilities, the task of effectively sharing information among partners in a rapidly changing stability environment becomes imperative. The advent of “cloud computing” presents a unique opportunity to create information sharing among disparate groups at a relatively low cost. Conceptually, cloud computing offers an innovative means to assist in U.S. stability operations by optimizing and harmonizing the challenges of information sharing. This paper explores the basis for continued U.S. participation in stability operations, the salient challenges with information sharing during stability operations, the innovative solutions offered by cloud computing, and some of the challenges with respect to cloud computing.