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How Open Sharing of Data Can Help Stabilize Countries

US Army

Last week, we talked about an effort to improve the way local government and regular people do business in Milwaukee, through better sharing of data.  Another data sharing program is already underway on a larger scale, and there are lives and countries at stake.

Linton Wells II is the Director of the Center for Technology and National Security Policy for the Institute of National Strategic Studies. It’s part of the National Defense University in Washington, DC. He heads a program called STAR-TIDES – its mission is to ensure open source information sharing amongst all the organizations – militaries, diplomats, NGOs - working to support populations under stress, no matter the cause.

"Quite honestly, I got tired of watching men and women die because governments don't do this very well by ourselves." -Linton Wells II

Wells, who was in Milwaukee last week to speak at UWM’s Institute of World Affairs, says the effort started with a shift in thinking by the military.

"Defense was spending all of its focus on the 'kill people and break things' phases of conflict," he explains.  "So out of this came a focus that said Defense will accord post-war stability and reconstruction operations the same priority as major combat operations."

Wells says that while policies have shifted, his work today includes study of how well the message of better communication and open data sharing is getting through.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.