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Never having been to the Pentagon, I'm surprised that there is a lack of wi-fi there. As the article says, how does one find people in an emergency?
There are no laptops at meetings in the Pentagon. There are no whiteboards, either. No connectivity, and almost no diversity. I love the Navy and Marine Corps, but as a civilian executive, this 1950s environment is what exasperated me most about working there. These problems damage the speed and quality of our military planning and decisionmaking. If we don’t correct them soon, we will jeopardize our national security.
Take connectivity. Even though my office was in the E-Ring, the cynosure of American military power, I had no Wi-Fi access. To call someone, I had to use a hard line. To access the internet, I had to jack my computer into the wall. This was not the result of heightened security—my office, like most of those in the building, was a declassified space—but because there’s simply no cell phone connectivity in most parts of the building. My IT team put an internet booster right outside my office—it still didn’t work. If I needed to use my cell phone, I could either hover by the one good hot spot a few feet from the secretary of the Navy’s office, or walk 10 minutes down to the building’s open courtyard, which gets a decent signal. There, rain or shine, you could find hundreds of Pentagon employees trying to use their phones. During the pandemic, I’ve had much greater connectivity working at home on my civilian network than I did when in the building that controls the most powerful and technologically advanced armed force in the world.
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