The Internet was born from a Department of Defense
(DoD) requirement for a survivable communications system, as a result
cyberspace is now a reality. Individuals are discovering a political
and social freedom never before imagined, but new threats are on
the horizon. Just as the threat of nuclear war once forced leadership
to develop national security policy focused on defending America,
so will Information Warfare emerge as a threat requiring our leadership
to consider an Information Civil Defense.
A comparison between the Cold War period and today yields an interesting
perspective. During the Cold War the United States government leveraged
over 90% of all telecommunications research. Today, the United States
government contributes to less than 10% of telecommunications research;
as a result, our government has much less influence on establishing
Information Warfare is a threat because it levels the international
playing field (political, economic, and military), i.e. most nations
cannot challenge American policy using traditional force-on-force
warfare. Information Warfare is very cost effective and offers a
non-attribution capability. Most importantly, the United States
is the most vulnerable of all nations to IW. DoD is critically dependent
upon the public switched infrastructure though it has no control
over and little ability to influence security standards.
International espionage is being redirected from the individual
with access to secret information toward network administrators.
Nations are determined to acquire America's customer base. Industrial
espionage will escalate into industrial sabotage. The Defense Information
Security Agency (DISA) has proved that government networks are vulnerable.
There are strong indications that an entirely new management philosophy
is needed to counter 21st century spies.
Tomorrow's military will continue to stand ready to defend America
against the two major regional conflict (MRC) scenario; however,
it can be forced to do so with fewer resources. Economizing can
be pursued through advanced Command and Control Warfare. Further,
America's military will be more able to extend their global reach
utilizing an offensive information warfare strategy. Tomorrow's
military will prepare the theater of conflict by seizing control
of all critical infrastructures utilized by the enemy. Tomorrow's
enemy will only be able to communicate, finance, or logistically
relocate that which our leadership allows. Our adversary will be
blinded by a complete cyberfog.
Currently the Joint Chiefs of Staff have offensive and defensive
groups addressing both issues. Mechanisms are currently in place
and being honed to ensure that each new strategic weapon is controlled
within the required release authority. However, from a defensive
perspective, DoD is currently inhibited by limited authority which
prohibits involvement in securing the public and corporate sector
of America's critical infrastructure.
Government's authority for securing America must be expanded to
protect our nation from groups that wish to influence U.S. policy
through infrastructure attacks. Our nation's leadership, both political
and industrial, must define a process by which government can prosecute
such groups which seek to attack from outside the United States.
Likewise, our leadership must equip local and federal law enforcement
with effective policy focused to counter such attacks from within.
The threat posed to America's infrastructure via IW attacks is
by its nature non-partisan. The threat is real and is focused against
all of America. As a result, our political leaders will come to
closure on this issue quickly once they are provided with adequate
assessments of the threat and needs of the individual and industry.
Our policy makers can be drawn back to our fore-father's belief
that individual's rights are granted by God and secured by government.
As a result, they will be challenged to determine the delicate balance
between individual and society's rights - this will represent the
heart of the debate.
The focus for change must come from Congress, however all branches
must contribute. The President must direct the Executive Branch
departments and agencies to provide critical information (data)
for use by Congress, Industry, and the public in forming the national
debate. Likewise, the Supreme Court will, as it has in the past,
ensure that legislated policy does not encroach on the rights of
Americans. Corporate America can be called upon to provide a realistic
view of industry's security needs. This view is currently not possible
as most of corporate America is either fearful of disclosing the
extent of the threat, or is unaware of the intentions of its adversaries.
Finally, Congress must receive a balanced view from its constituents.
The people must educate themselves to the issues and voice their
There is value in looking at our nation's transition during times
of great change, e.g., the industrial revolution, the Great Depression,
and the nuclear threat (Cold War). During each period free enterprise
provided the technical means to a solution. Likewise, during each
transition, there was a new assessment of the balance of rights.
Specific Lessons from History
- Legislative actions have historically supported economic and
- U.S. Courts have leaned toward the rights of the individual.
The right to privacy has and will continue to be at the center
- The technical solutions to all of America's needs have come
from the industrial sector.
- Divestitures such as AT&T's could benefit other critical
infrastructures such as electric power.
Information Warfare Weapons fall into the following categories:
Strategic National, Strategic Theater, Operational, and Tactical.
Each category has its own unique capabilities and thus requires
different safety mechanisms to prevent inadvertent release. The
Commander In Chief (CINC) implements the directions of the President.
During the planning process the CINC can be the single person responsible
for the overall campaign and will select the weapons to be used,
but just as in the case of nuclear weapons, IW weaponry will require
a higher level of coordination and authorization for release.
Many nations in competition with the United States, either in the
political or economic realm, are actively developing IW capabilities.
Such nations hope to use these capabilities to gain an industrial
edge by stealing U.S. industrial secrets, and when possible, disrupt
our nation's industrial base.
America has typically enjoyed a protected sanctuary provided by
the two great oceans it borders. Not until Pearl Harbor and the
subsequent nuclear threat did America become aware of its loss of
sanctuary. With the fall of the Iron Curtain and the end of the
Cold War, Americans have returned to believing a protected sanctuary
still exists. Cyberspace has no geographic boundaries. Further,
nations are contracting the efforts of cyber-terrorists to maintain
non-attribution. America's sanctuary has been lost. Our nation is
under a quiet, systematically organized attack by many forces whose
goal is to topple America's position as world leader.
Just as America's military transitioned into the industrial age
and adopted the concept of mechanized war, so will it adapt to the
concept warfare in the information age. That said, the transition
will not be easy. The Army has and will always command the ground
aspect of warfare. The information revolution will provide a battlefield
(situational) awareness unimaginable today, and precision guided
weapons will allow a greater stand-off distance from our adversary.
The Navy (and Marine Corps) will continue to control the seas and
provide the heavy strategic reach capability America now enjoys.
Global sensory networks will ensure the U.S. Navy has the capability
to track any form of naval enemy on a global basis. The Air Force
and its command of the skies will continue. The ability to precision
strike a hostile nation's command and control, air defense, or critical
infrastructures can be just a push button away. Precision strike
will place munitions on a target in ways now considered impossible.
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