Air Force Cyber Command's Strategic Vision spells out the command's operational scope and postures. Controlling cyber space is key to national security. This was clearly articulated in the 2008 National Threat Assessment delivered by the Director of National Intelligence to the Congressional Armed Services Committee last week. Major General William T. Lord heads up the command that is provisionally located at Barksdale Air Force Base. The command is slated to begin operations in this fall and become fully operational in 2009.
Supremacy in cyber space is critical across all strategic and operations domains. This new command is currently in the process of acquiring a suite of capabilities that will create the flexible options for military and governmental decision makers. These capabilities sought be Cyber Command include but are not limited to the following:
The ability to deter adversaries
The ability to deny access and operations to adversaries
The ability to disrupt adversaries
The ability to deceive adversaries
The ability to dissuade adversaries
The ability to defeat adversaries
This will be accomplished through a variety of offensive and defensive, destructive and non-destructive, and lethal and non-lethal capabilities being developed and deployed within Cyber Command.
The cyber threat environment faced by the U.S. and our allies represents a new challenge. Cyber command has chosen a holistic approach to meeting this challenge that includes science and technology, research and development, systems acquisition, operations, education, training, and a new operational doctrine. The challenges of standing up a new command are daunting. When you compound those challenges with addressing the complexities of cyber warfare, they multiply and become huge.
The battle being fought by the Air Force is not limited to cyber space. You may have seen the slick new commercials airing on television. This is an offensive move by the Air Force to try and secure the lead position in cyber warfare and defense. The Army and the National Security Agency are also vying for the top spot.
One insider believes that the NSA has already been given the nod. Well, at least unofficially. However, this battle rages on.
This is a critical time for the United States. Our nation, our society, our economy and our businesses are all heavily dependent on Internet connectivity. Failure is not an option and the White House and Congress know it. We must address the threats coming from cyber space. Earlier this year I wrote an article for Eye Spy magazine titled, "The Department of Cyber Defense." I believe the best way to address this new threat to create a new organization and staff it with a cross functional team for NSA, DoD, DHS as well as the Army, Navy and Air Force. Using this approach, the country gets the best and brightest assembled from all these organizations and stands up a new entity that comes without baggage that is inherent in all organizations.
Completely new, new hybrid, or assign the responsibility to and existing entity - what is your opinion?