- By Bob Brewin
- Feb 06, 2000
Developing Digital Defenders
The National Defense University has stepped in to fill key gaps — those
pesky details that don't deserve attention from those who labor in the corridors
of power here in the capital of the free world — in the president's plan
to develop a new corps of digital defenders to protect federal networks.
A two-day symposium scheduled to start today at Fort McNair, Washington,
D.C., will focus on developing new learning environments and organizations
to tackle training for the cyberdefense mission.
NDU has rounded up a bunch of eggheads to hold forth at the symposium,
including Eliot Cohen, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University;
Thomas Furness, professor of industrial engineering at the University of
Washington; Peter Senge of the Society for Organizational Learning; and
Michael Schrage, a professor at MIT.
The Interceptor once enjoyed a friendly rivalry with Schrage while covering
the new electronic media beat in New York City. He now sports professor
stripes, and I'm still an ink-stained wretch — so one of us has made the
wrong career move.
Note to E-Mail Correspondents
For those of you seeking concrete details on cyberscholarships, I regret
that I don't have the information because the plan did not provide it. Try
contacting the Office of Personnel Management or the Critical Infrastructure
Protection Office instead of the overworked staff here at Intercept Central.
The military realizes that the all-volunteer force has created a cultural
gap between folks who wear the uniform and those who don't. Navy Secretary
John Dalton, speaking at a Flag Officers Conference last month, said he
discussed with the Marine Corps a "Year Out" program during which "hard
charging" Marine officers would take a leave from the Corps to work in nongovernmental
organizations, investment banking or newspapers. I imagine a Marine 0302 — an infantry officer — could do wonders for any publication (including
this one) where reporters have trouble meeting deadlines.
DMR for JTRS?
In a truly Pentagonian exercise, the Joint Tactical Radio System Joint
Program Office continues to define the architecture for a software- programmable
radio that meets all military requirements in one box.
Meanwhile, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command last week awarded
Motorola Inc. a contract for point-and-click Digital Modular Radios, with
the first shipboard installations slated for the first quarter of 2001.
A very diplomatic Navy Capt. Craig Madsen, the advanced tactical communications
manager at Spawar, did not make any invidious comparisons of DMR and JTRS,
saying "this is not an us vs. them situation." But when asked if the difference
between the two programs came down to the fact that JTRS was defining while
DMR was producing, Madsen answered, "That's right."
Pay-as-you-go copiers would help DOD reach its paperless contracting
goal (targeted for last month), said Kenneth Haws of the Air Force Research
Laboratory in Rome, N.Y.
Haws suggested that a 25-cents-per-page fee — like at the library — would help wean the Pentagon from its paper diet. If you have a short and
preferably humorous tip on how to eliminate paper in the DOD contracting
process, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with "treesavers" in the subject line.