Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Cyberspace Command: USAF

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    Friday, October 19, 2007

    Cyberspace Command: USAF

    Tension between war-fighting objectives and intelligence-gathering ones are evident.
    Shaun Waterman
    United Press International
    Oct 17, 2007

    Recent pronouncements by U.S. Air Force officials about their view of cyberspace as a war-fighting domain have attracted little attention. But the questions they raise for U.S. military policy and doctrine are profound.

    “Cyber(space) is important to the nation,” said Gen. Robert Elder, the military officer in charge of the U.S. Air Force’s day-to-day cyberspace operations, acknowledging the dependence of U.S. commerce and banking on the Internet, “But to the Air Force, it’s really important.”

    He told a recent briefing organized by the Air Force Association that cyberspace was vital because it was the key to the U.S. military’s fabled cross-domain dominance.

    We have had situations before where the intersections (with other agencies) ¿¿ have been difficult,” he said. He said there were “shades of gray from law enforcement (to) homeland security, (to) homeland defense to some kind of expeditionary operation (like Iraq).

    “What we’re really trying to do with these partnerships is close the gaps” between military and civilian authorities and agencies. “We need to have clearer interaction with these other agencies,” he said.

    “Legislation, policies and international law are lagging the technology” in the cyber-domain, Lani Kass, a senior adviser to U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley, told another recent conference. “The United States is late to the fight.”

    She said U.S. tactics in cyberspace were constrained by political correctness.

    “Today it is much easier to get permission to kill the enemy, to drop a bomb on a terrorist hideout, than to culturally offend them. In other words, take a beheading video, take it off the net, and substitute — whatever you like: Bay Watch? The technology is there. It’s there in the civilian world. But the policies are such that you can’t do that.” ( THE MILITARY CAN'T DO IT )

    One congressional official told United Press International that caution was appropriate in what he called “virgin territory” from a strategic theory point of view. ( THAT MEANS AFTER USA SUFFERS A SERIOUS ATTACK, THEN USA CAN GO INTO THE VIRGIN TERRITORY )

    “If we drop a bomb on a house, we have a pretty good idea of what the collateral damage will be ¿¿ if we take down a server somewhere, the possible results are a lot less clear.” ( LETS TRY TAKING DOWN A GOOD Statistical SAMPLE AND SEE, START WITH IRAN )

    Elder said from a defensive point of view, the Air Force is interested not just in protecting its own networks, which he called “perimeter security,”


    but also in “getting out beyond the wire” and building “defense in depth” in the cyber-domain.


    On any Air Force base, he said, the ultimate last line of defense is the sidearm that every airman carries. He said a “cyber-sidearm program” would give “every airman the tools, right on their laptop or desktop” to defend the cyber-domain. ( I LIKE THIS, WITH RULES OF ENGAGEMENT..."cyber-sidearms" SOME CIVILIANS HAVE THEM ALREADY FOR SELF DEFENSE )

    She said cyberspace “is a domain that allows you to deliver effects disproportionate to the level of investment,” and that could thus provide U.S. adversaries with asymmetric advantages.

    ( HELLO aQ )

    “To dominate on land, at sea, in the air, and in space, you need to invest a fairly significant amount of capital, training, equipment. ¿¿ In the electromagnetic spectrum of the cyber-domain a very minimal investment allows you to inflict damage totally disproportionate to your level of investment.” Source:

    VETTED: peer reviewed:



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