Friday, June 22, 2007
Even explaining what threats are out there can give potential enemies a steer, as well as clues as to what our military's offense and defense plans are.
"It has to be that way," said John "There's no sense in doing market research for the enemy."
Part of the silence also will stem from the reality that the pieces will fall together as different parts of far-flung efforts coalesce, and as the planning and operations sides of this new realm of warfare mesh with existing defense systems.
"It makes sense for the U.S. government to be doing it," said Pike, who noted that individuals, business, government and military all share parallel but often separate security concerns. "But exactly what the division of labor (will be) between this agency and other agencies in the U.S. government, I'm at a loss to understand."
While the nuts and bolts of a yet-unnamed major command charged with cyber issues haven't been sketched in detail, Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne recently spelled out what it would fight against.
In a "Letter to Airmen," he wrote, the nation's enemies "attempt to access American industrial servers that contain sensitive data, exploit electromagnetic energy to try and jam or misdirect our precision weapons and use radio transmitters to detonate improvised explosive devices, killing Americans, Coalition allies and innocent civilians."
In response to these threats, Wynne said, "airmen are actively 'flying and fighting' in cyberspace."
And talking to intelligence and reconnaissance experts in Omaha, Neb., last month, he said the nation's nerve network "resides in cyberspace. Our military command and control, ISR and precision strike capability all rely on ensured access to the electronic spectrum.
"As the nation with the world's most advanced armed forces, we can't afford to risk losing the freedom of action in the cyberspace domain."
Air Force Cyber Command, which is at 8th Air Force at Barksdale, "will ensure the security and integrity of our network and, at the same time, build trust and confidence in the system as we use cyberspace to exploit new and future technologies," Wynne said.
Components of the new operation at 8th Air Force have been falling into place for more than a year. The Air Force's Network Operations Center is there. And in recent months, 8th Air Force also assumed control of the Air Force Information Operations Center in San Antonio. That has about 1,000 personnel, who haven't physically changed location but answer to 8th Air Force commander Lt. Gen. Robert J. Elder Jr.
"As of now there have been no significant increases in personnel moving to Barksdale," said Col. Michael Shoults, 8th Air Force staff director.
However, he said, "as the 8th Air Force mission becomes more defined, we do anticipate that more people will be assigned to Barksdale to support the cyber mission."
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