The Pentagon's New Multi-Lingual Web

The U.S. Special Operations Command awarded General Dynamics Information Technology a $10.1 million contract to build the "Trans Regional Web Initiative." The project will include "a minimum of two and no more than twelve websites" in languages such as Arabic, French, English, Chinese, Farsi, Russian, Urdu and Malay / Indonesian, in support of U.S. military "combatant commands." General Dynamics is tasked with recruiting a "network of native / indigenous content contributors with backgrounds in politics, academics, security, culture, entertainment, and other aspects of the Global War on Terror, which appeal to identified foreign target audiences." The project's goal is to develop "rapid, on-order global dissemination of Web-based influence products and tools in support of strategic and long-term U.S. Government goals and objectives." Network World notes that "conducting a war of words is a hot topic." In July, the Air Force awarded a $29.7 million contract to BBN, "to develop a prototype machine reading system" intended to allow artificial intelligence systems to "gather and analyze information from the Web."