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.

0302 Editors?

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.


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."

No Quarter

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 with "treesavers" in the subject line.


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