...building a virtual Earth for planning future conflicts and what not. Now, I am all for the military using technology in order to better achieve its goal of protecting the United States and its interests around the (real) world. But is a replication of the entire planet necessary? While I do not expect the wars of the future to take place in the same locales as those past, there are definitely certain places on the globe where it is unlikely that the United States will be fighting anytime soon.

But it seems that the military is focused on certain areas of the world:

However, currently the virtual Earth is almost bare as the only thing modelled in any detail is part of Kuwait City.
He said There was working with the US Army researchers to ensure that existing models of the way that things such as crowds and vehicles react can be included in the simulated planet.
In spring a group of sergeants and junior officers that have served in Iraq will become the first soldiers to try out the virtual Earth.

Well, if that was the case, why not just model the Middle East?
The American gaming company that is making the world for the army, There has an interesting website. The bubbly design was not what I expected from a military contractor. Even more interesting was the page about There's open source policy:
There uses and supports open source software for development, tools, and office systems. We attempt (whenever possible) to share our modifications with the open source community. Because we have just adopted our open source policy, we don't have much source code available yet. Anything released by There and not already covered by a license will be covered by the BSD license.

Interesting. Wonder if the code behind that virtual world system will be open source?