Defense Failed To Adequately Manage Terabytes Of Iraq War Data

Bob Brewin | Nextgov | December 20, 2012

Records for U.S. forces in Iraq as of 2010 amounted to 20 to 50 terabytes of data -- as much as five times all the books cataloged by the Library of Congress -- with the information stored in an unmanaged, unstructured format with no metadata, according to an internal Pentagon report that the Defense Department Freedom of Information Act Office released Dec. 4.

Veterans organizations told lawmakers at a Dec. 5 hearing of the House Veterans Affairs Committee that the lack of war records frustrates veterans when they file disability claims with the Veterans Affairs Department. Richard Dumancas, deputy director for claims for the America Legion, told lawmakers it’s been difficult to locate records for many of the 653,000 National Guard and reserve members who served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The June 2010 report, prepared by the Joint Staff secretariat information management division for the Defense Chief Information Officer Office, revealed that “large gaps in records collections exist, resulting in the failure to capture a significant and historical archive.”