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"Indispensable for any serious researcher in contemporary national security issues." ?Foreign Afffairs"
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"Indispensable for any serious researcher in contemporary national security issues." —Foreign Afffairs"
Finding the U.S. Military on the Internet
With the Web now exceeding 300 million pages, there is no longer any comprehensive index or search engine for what's online. There is no comprehensive government or Defense Department search database of note, and the DOD itself readily admits that it does not know how many public Internet sites it maintains. What is more, military sites are themselves a mix of open pages, password-protected pages, and restricted sites. Add to this a growing "hidden Internet"--databases and a vast array of information that is not in the form of hypertext markup language (HTML) documents and therefore is largely inaccessible to automated search engines--and more than ever it is difficult to find information.
The big commercial search engines, themselves locked in fierce competition for users, also focus more and more on consumer services (e.g., delivery of news, entertainment, and E-mail) rather than scouring all of the nooks and crannies of the Web to build ever larger indexes. This is understandable on another count, for the major complaint of most Internet users is too much information, not too little. "Popular" sites are indexed completely and with great frequency to keep the search engines "fresh," but many--perhaps hundreds--of sites in the .mil domain are increasingly left behind.
Still, search engines remain the essential tools to find material on the Internet. The big five--AltaVista, Excite, HotBot, Infoseek, and Lycos--dominate the field and are central to research in the .mil domain. But a host of other services are also needed: specialized searchengines, general and specialized directories and catalogs of websites (specialized link bibliographies), and, increasingly, the internal search engines of individual websites. One of the biggest innovations in the .mil domain over the past year has been the introduction of these internal search engines (throughout the Directory the sites with these search engines are designated with a [magnifying glass]. As websites themselves become bigger and more complex, and also serve as gateways to databases, such as publications repositories, search engines are needed to find materials. The internal engines are invariably more inclusive and up-to-date than any Web-wide resource, and in the .mil domain, they often index material that is otherwise not cataloged at all.
Internet-wide search services can be categorized in four basic groups: the big five large search engines, Web-wide directories, "metasearch" sites that aggregate the results of many search engines, and specialized search sites for specific tasks.
The big five Web-wide search engines are huge automated systems that rely on "spiders" or "bots" to troll the Internet, compiling databases that are then searchable by keyword. Though they vary in size, in the protocols for use, and in their freshness, they all exceed 50 million pages of material (the largest are well over 100 million), and each has attributes that distinguish it from the others.
Directories differ from search engines in that they are subject catalogs of web resources, created manually by people. The largest of these indexes (Yahoo! and Infoseek) are beyond the size for much selectivity. Smaller catalogs (e.g., Magellan and Lycos) can be more selective and also often offer in-depth reviews.
Metasearch sites parse out searches to more than one search engine or directory at the same time. A profusion of these sites--All-in-One, Mamma, MetaCrawler, Savvy Search--are attempting to tap the combined wisdom of the individual search services. They are good for very precise searches and when other search tools fail, particularly to check whether some nugget of information is available anywhere.
The various search services not only index the Web, but also include access to information in Gopher, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Telnet, and newsgroup (USENET) sites.
Web-wide Search Engines
Alta Vista Search Engine
All in One Search Page
Though the major search engines all have conventions to limit searches by domain, allowing retrieval only of official information--i.e., in the .gov (U.S. government), .mil (U.S. military), and .int (international governmental organization) domains--the GovBot Database of Government Web Sites (http://cobar.cs.umass.edu/ciirdemo/Govbot/) is a search engine exclusively of U.S. government sites. Its depth is not as great as that of AltaVista or HotBot, but it does have the advantage of specialization, particularly as the big search engines increasingly are unable to index everything on the Web, or uninterested in doing so.
The Defense Department itself does not maintain anything close to a .mil-wide search engine, but the DefenseLink site (http://www.defenselink.mil) offers a frequently updated internal search engine that includes press releases, transcripts, statements, and contract announcements. The Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) Catalog Search (http://www-cat.dtic.mil:8883/ cgi-bin/search.cgi/x-catalog:/www-cat.dtic.mil:8883/catalog-o) searches the extensive collection of the military's main server. The Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) Broad Catalog Search engine (http://call.army.mil:1180/cgi-bin/search.cgi/ x-catalog:/call.army.mil:1180/CALL) pulls together the web resources of numerous Army sites, including the main academic institutions.
Military-Oriented Web Directories
The main Web-wide directories mentioned above, including directories of the search engines such as Infoseek and Lycos, provide already prepared net directories or "subject trees" of websites organized by categories and retrievable via keyword searching. The military aptitude of these sites is not particularly high, but they are useful for browsing, and they include references to nonofficial military resources, which are not the focus of this directory. There are also a number of more specialized military-related directories. These tend to be more inclusive, and often have comments and authoritative descriptions of Web resources.
NEW AFDA Library Military and Strategic Studies
Compiled at the Australian Forces Defence Academy.
AJAX: United States and International Government Military and Intelligence Agency Access
Bulletin Board for Libraries (BUBL) Information Service
UK-based index to resources in Aerospace Engineering, Development Studies, Geography, Government and Public Administration, History, Military Science, Politics and Social Sciences, and Russia.
NEW CARL's Gateway to the Internet
Compiled by the Combined Arms Research Library (CARL) at Ft. Leavenworth, KS, links to topical areas of military interest.
Electronic Headquarters for the Acquisition of War Knowledge (E-HAWK)
Includes the Catalog of Military Internet Resources (Mil-Cat) and World Wide Web Site for Scholars of Military History (Mil-Hist).
NEW International Affairs Network (IAN)
Comprehensive academic-oriented directory of international relations resources on the web.
NEW International Relations and Security Network (ISN) (Switzerland)
Swiss directory of international security resources on the web, including many non-U.S. sites.
National Defense University Library's Defense Nexus
Guide to U.S. and international military links, official and private.
* NEW War, Peace and Security WWW Server
An excellent and comprehensive site of military resources worldwide, compiled by the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College.
Official Military Internet Listings
Given the propensity of the U.S. military to endlessly change organizational structure and names--and given the transitory nature of the Internet--familiarity with the various official listings of websites compiled by the Defense Department and the various services is essential to find organizations and resources. Some of these listings and search engines are also interfaces for the Government Information Locator Service (GILS), an initiative mandated by the Office of Management and Budget by which government agencies are to use electronic means for providing information to the public.
Defense Department and DOD-wide
Guide to GILS Records
Defense Technical Information Web (DTIW) Locator
Organizationally by major command
Search engine by organization and keyword
Chronological listing, with newer sites listed on top
Navy Online Homepage
Search engine by title
Military Bases, Units, Ships
* The Armed Forces Communications, Inc. Homebase http://www.armedforces.com/ thomebase/index.htm is a privately maintained worldwide installations and units list and directory of note.
Standard Installation Topic Exchange Service (SITES)
Maintained by the Defense Manpower Data Center, provides information on major installations organized for military personnel transferring duty stations (e.g., education, employment, medical services). The graphics-intensive and slow site includes detailed descriptions of bases with listings of major units.
DOD Worldwide List of Military Installations
Somewhat outdated but still useful.
* Distribution of Personnel by State and by Selected Locations and Atlas/Data Abstract for the United States and Selected Areas
Navy Bases and Air Stations--U.S.
NEW Naval Vessel Register
The official U.S. Navy register of commissioned ships and craft.
Listings of ship home ports, ship mailing addresses, and ships by type and hull number, all in separate files.
Directories of Units and People
The Defense Switched Network (DSN) Directory online at a number of websites, including at http://dsnbbs.ncr.disa.mil/. A searchable online version of the somewhat dated Air Force Address Directory (AFDIR 37-135) (March 1995) is located at afdir.hq.af.mil/afdir/index.cfm and at http://www.afmc.wpafb.af.mil/lib/AFADDR.html. The Army's Aerodrome Directory at http://leav-www.army.mil/usaasa/FIB/AD2qtr.htm profiles descriptions of airfields in the United States.
The biographies of most active duty general officers (generals and admirals) are contained either at central repositories or at the commands and organizations where they are assigned. The regularly updated "General/Flag Officer Worldwide Roster" is also located at http://webl.whs.osd.mil/mmid/m13/fobtop.htm.
The DOD Network Information Center (NIC) Whois Database Lookup at http://nic.ddn.mil/cgi-bin/whois provides a search capability for DOD E-mail users. The NEW Navy X.500 Directory Service at http://www.public-navydirectory. newnet.navy.mil:9090/ has more comprehensive coverage for Navy activities.
Defense Department and Service Officials
Air Force Leaders
NEW Air Force General Officer Roster Page
Marine Corps General Officers and Senior Executive Service Biographies
Each of the services provides locators for active duty and former military personnel (military regulations and the Privacy Act of 1974 protect the home addresses of service personnel).
Air Force Worldwide Locator
Army Worldwide Locator
Navy World Wide Locator
Marine Corps Locator
Veterans and Veterans' Organizations
The National Personnel Records Center of the National Archives http://www.nara.gov/regional/stlouis.html is the repository of military personnel records of veterans during the 20th century.
NEW DOD Alumni Database
Army Alumni Organizations/Associations
Database of Army unit and branch alumni organizations and associations, including links to private homepages.
Military Acronyms and Terminology
As one browses through the military on the electronic highway, it is hard not to be confused by the acronyms and special language. Each military service and each military discipline (e.g., artillery or aviation or intelligence) has its own language, and very few provide much assistance in deciphering their official-speak for the uninitiated. The authoritative Department of Defense (DOD) Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms (Joint Pub 1-02) is itself available in Adobe Acrobat format online via the Joint Electronic Library at http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/new_pubs/jp 1_02.pdf A searchable dictionary database including the DOD Dictionary and the Joint Acronyms and Abbreviations master data file is located at http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/doddict/
Army Acronym and Abbreviation Glossary Search
Army Training Digital Library's Acronym Database
* Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) Dictionary and Thesaurus
Continually updated database of terminology, acronyms, geographic codes, and operations.
Program and System or Equipment Codes Query
U.S. Military Abbreviation and Acronym List
Weapons Facts Sheets and Characteristics
Air Force Fact Sheets
Includes combat and combat support aircraft and helicopters, space launch vehicles, and missiles.
Army Weapon Systems Handbook
Searchable database including helicopters, artillery and missiles, air defense systems, armored vehicles, trucks and logistical equipment, ammunition and ordnance, communications and intelligence collection (including satellites), and small arms.
Defense Fact File
Gateway database to DOD and service fact sheets dealing with aircraft, ammunition, armor, communications, artillery and fire support radar, missiles, ships and submarines, vehicles and weapons.
Marine Corps Fact File
Includes aircraft and helicopters, amphibious raid equipment, anti-armor weapons, armored and tracked vehicles, uniforms and personal supplies, communications, artillery and missiles, infantry weapons, and land-mine-related equipment.
Navy Fact File
Includes aircraft and helicopters, shipboard guns and torpedoes, missiles, surface ship, and submarine types.
Sources of Photographs
In addition to a number of specialized homepages providing images online, virtually every command and base also has a photo gallery. Two NASA image archives--the NEW NASA Image Exchange (http://nix.nasa.gov) and the Dryden Flight Research Center Photo Server http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/ PhotoServer/--contain thousands of online photographs, many relevant to the military.
The DOD Visual Information Center (1363 Z Street, March AFB, CA 92518; 909-413-2522) is the public archive for images and photos from 1982 to the present.
NEW * Joint Combat Camera Center
Online searchable database of publicly released and restricted photos by
military specialists, accessible with username and password of "public."
Comprehensive official photo library, including portraits, all services, weapons, and special operations or announcements such as Bosnia or Taiwan straits operations.
American Forces Press Service photos
Air Force people, operations, weapons
NEW ACC Image Bank
Air Force Museum
NEW Army photos
Army Equipment Photo Gallery
Navy Digital Imagery
NEW Marine Corps Image Archive
Starting Points Military Starting Points Defense Department/DefenseLINK http://www.defenselink.mil/ Joint Chiefs of Staff http://www.dtic.mil/jcs AirForceLINK http://www.af.mil/ ArmyLINK http://www.army.mil/ NavyOnLine http://www.navy.mil/ Marine Corps/MarineLINK http://www.usmc.mil/ Air Force Reserve http://www.afres.af.mil/ Air National Guard http://www.ang.af.mil/ Army National Guard http://22.214.171.124/ Army Reserve http://www.army.mil/usar/ National Guard http://www.ngb.dtic.mil/ Navy Reserve http://www.navy.mil/homepages/ navresfor/navres.html Marine Corps Reserve http://www.marforres.usmc.mil/ Other National Security Starting Points Central Intelligence Agency http://www.odci.gov/cia/ Coast Guard http://www.dot.gov/dotinfo/uscg/ Department of Energy http://www.doe.gov Department of State http://www.state.gov Federal Bureau of Investigation http://www.fbi.gov Federal Emergency Management Agency http://www.fema.gov/ National Aeronautics and Space Administration http://www.nasa.gov North Atlantic Treaty Organization http://www.nato.int/ Veteran Affairs http://www.va.gov/ White House http://www.whitehouse.gov
|Introduction and Overview||vii|
|Conventions Used in the Guide||viii|
|1. Finding the U.S. Military on the Internet||1|
|2. Basic Information Resources||13|
|3. Think Tanks, Schools, Libraries, and History Collections||26|
|4. Defense Policies, Weapons, and Systems||39|
|5. The Business of the Department of Defense||54|
|6||Defense Department, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Unified|
|7. Department of the Air Force||85|
|8. Department of the Army||95|
|9. Department of the Navy||107|
|10. Major Military Bases in the United States, by State||121|
|11. Major Military Bases and Commands Overseas||207|