Inside the Cyber Command Turf Battle



Reports by the Associated Press who obtained a memo on the subject said this week the Pentagon delayed and may even kill the Air Force's planned Cyberspace Command. Why exactly is up for speculation, but according to one insider who absolutely did not want to be identified - "It's a dollar Grab".

The insider went on to say that "with an estimated $30 billion being spent on cyber capabilities, who can blame them?"

As I tally it, the Army, Air Force, CIA, NSA, DIA, DHS, StratCom and two unidentified black-ops units have already begun developing cyber warfare capabilities. Anyone with an ounce of sense would not want to get in the middle of that group! The Pentagon has to be thinking it would be better to have one unified cyber command rather than all these dispirit efforts.

Cyber warfare is a highly desirable command area -- it is new, it's exciting, it's a real threat and arguably the hottest topic in military circles. Multiple security experts, including myself, have warned that significant and very special resources and expertise are required to execute the core elements of the Bush administration's cyber security plan.

Earlier this year I wrote an article titled "The Department of Cyber Defense" that was published by International Intelligence Magazine. It looked at this exact issue. The article was based on rumors back then that the Executive Branch was considering establishing a new department and cabinet level appointment responsible for our country's cyber offensive and defensive capabilities. By establishing a new department and cabinet level position, one entity can focus on developing cyber warfare technologies needed to support both defense and civilian agencies.

Remember we even created a new patch for the organization.

Richard Clarke has warned how significant a threat cyber attacks pose to the United States and our allies. Turf battles and infighting are slowing the United States' efforts to mitigate this threat and develop the necessary offensive cyber warfare capabilities. We cannot and should not tolerate the inaction and lack of progress this squabbling is causing.

-- Kevin Coleman

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