The American military is the most powerful and technologically advanced warfighting force the world has ever seen. Few countries will be able to rival this advantage for years to come, yet this lead is at risk of being neutralized or lost without a single enemy effort.
The proliferation of wireless devices is putting immense strain on the finite resource known as the electromagnetic spectrum. The phrase "electromagnetic spectrum" in the context of this article refers to the range of frequencies, including very low-frequency radio waves measured in Hertz (Hz) to microwaves measured in GigaHertz (GHz). While electromagnetic radiation exceeds these parameters into infrared, visible, ultraviolet light and beyond, in a tactical military sense a warfighter needs to be most concerned about the use and availability of the subset of the electromagnetic spectrum commonly referred to as the "radio spectrum."
The strain on this resource has on occasion caused electronic fratricide, or friendly interference, which has the potential to bring the U.S. warfighting machine to a halt in the same way airport search radar can negate a cell phone signal.