August 10, 2011–The US Army is aiming to help its efforts in Afghanistan, according to a recent Business Insider story, “U.S. Military Uses ‘Reality Mining’ Data System to Read Afghan Social Fabric.” However, we are not too confident in its success.
The classified program ties together “everything from spy radars to fruit prices” in order to read the Afghan social situation and help the U.S. military plot strategy…Designed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Nexus 7 specifically tries to measure whether certain communities are falling apart or stabilizing, and whether insurgent support is rising in a certain area or draining away.”
This sounds like a great program until we heard the DARPA is involved. As we previously noted, the Army’s analytics division has been nothing short of a money pit. Thankfully, they are taking notice and looking for outside help, albeit in social context. Hopefully, this will be the start of the military utilizing a much more efficient and smarter private sector for analytics. DARPA doesn’t give us much confidence.