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Dec 14, 2007

Welcome to "What's New in National Defense,? a podcast on military technology and defense industry trends, from the December 2007 issue of National Defense Magazine.

December"s cover story takes a look at one the biggest paradoxes in today's high-tech military: Troops in combat zones do not have easy access to information.

The Army, as the other branches of the military, has spent billions of dollars during the past decade building large networks and communications systems, but that wealth of technology does not necessarily flow down to low-level troops.

The problem often is described as a "digital divide? between the technology haves — the upper echelons of command — and the have-nots — the platoons and squads that are deployed in remote areas. These small units for the most part are disconnected from the Army"s main tactical networks and only are able to communicate with short-range voice radios.