Three months ago, as Russia invaded Ukraine, the world watched as Twitter exploded with real-time data, reporting, and analysis of the unfolding conflict. It quickly became clear that the war presented analysts with an unprecedented amount of rich, open-source data on military movements, troop location, shelling damage, weapon types, and more. Ukraine has been quick to capitalize on Russia’s poor data protection, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has become Ukraine’s most potent weapon because of his ability to use data and information and Russia’s inability to protect it.
For the U.S. Army, a key takeaway from the Ukrainian conflict so far should be the extent to which our modern-day habits are trackable, traceable, and predictable. Open-source data presents modern militaries, especially wealthy high-tech ones, with a very uncomfortable truth: militaries are exposed because their troops are connected.