Intelligence: December 27, 1999


The Pentagon has announced that it is 100% confident that its network of computers will survive the Y2K computer problem. Deputy Secretary of Defense Hamre said "we anticipate absolutely no problems in the Department of Defense". The Pentagon has 2,101 computers it regards as mission critical, and 2,099 of these have been tested to survive Y2K intact. The other two (used for military intelligence) won't be needed until May so it is not critical if they crash from "the Y2K bug" or not. Another 5,488 computers are "non-mission critical" and of these, all but 10 are Y2K compliant. The US remains concerned, however, about possible Y2K problems in other countries that might affect US troops. US troops abroad will operate at a slightly higher alert level than units based inside the US. On 28 Dec, a group of 20 Russian officers will join American officers in a special control center at Colorado Springs, to share missile early warning data. This is intended to improve Russian confidence should their own system collapse (as it is likely to do). There are concerns that a rogue nation could accidentally touch off a nuclear war if it launched a missile during a time when the Russian missile warning system was only partially functioning. --Stephen V Cole




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