US to Give UK Troops Access to Its Military 'Combat Cloud' to Oppose China
19:03 GMT 30.07.2021 (Updated: 19:44 GMT 30.07.2021)
© AP Photo / Ted S. WarrenAir National Guard soldiers monitor computer screens
© AP Photo / Ted S. Warren
The Pentagon's security network for classified documents became a source of a major leak in 2010, when an Army analyst, Chelsea Manning, transferred thousands of logs and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange. The documents were subsequently distributed on the Internet.
The US Department of Defence (DoD) is mulling giving access to its "combat cloud" to UK military members to boost the interoperability of allied forces in a scenario involving a confrontation with China, according to the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John Hyten.
Recent war games simulating a US response to an attack on Taiwan by China, were reportedly a the trigger for the change, as the American forces in the drills lost "miserably" and simulated trials showed that the US military could not effectively work with one of its greatest military assets: its own allies.
"We have to address a classification problem because we are way over-classified. Even if we do that, we still have a problem because we like to label things 'SECRET NOFORN [No Foreign Nationals]'. Then, even our closest allies can't get on to our basic secret system SIPRNet", Hyten stated.
Although the Pentagon did not declassify all of the information regarding the outcome of the recent war games, Hyten said that a key problem was that the "red team" knocked out the US military's information systems at the onset of the hypothetical conflict. These essential systems are used to relay data and intelligence between US forces and units. The latter ended up amassed in one spot, becoming easy prey to a fictional Chinese military offensive.
"Without overstating the issue, it failed miserably. An aggressive 'red team' that had been studying the United States for the last 20 years just ran rings around us. They knew exactly what we were going to do before we did it", Hyten said.
The Pentagon is now overhauling its entire concept of waging war against modern enemies - purportedly in the event of a war with China. US forces will reportedly now be amassing only to land a strike, dissipating immediately after to survive possible enemy assault.
The US military will also replace military information systems with a "combat cloud", presumably immune to Chinese hacking efforts. This cloud is expected to not only provide American soldiers with combat data, but also do the same for their British allies – via the use of a personal biometrics login.
Despite being "overly classified" and limiting access to allies, the Pentagon network for secret documents became the source of one of the biggest and most embarrassing US data leaks in history. In 2010, a US military intelligence analyst, Chelsea Manning, leaked hundreds of thousands of American war logs from Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as Department of State cables, to WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. The documents revealed multiple cases that allegedly constitute war crimes and misconduct by member of the US military, as well as laying open extremely sensitive US diplomatic cables.