Cyberwar ops may unify
- By George I. Seffers
- Oct 29, 2000
Minutes after U.S. Space Command officials announced they were considering
a unified subcommand to take charge of computer network operations, some
critics questioned the strategy.
Computer network operations include offensive and defensive cyberwarfare
missions, both of which now fall under Spacecom.
Gen. Dale Meyerrose, director of command and control systems for Spacecom,
told attendees at the Military Communications conference in Los Angeles
last week that Spacecom is considering forming a unified subcommand to oversee
computer network attack and defense missions. Meyerrose and others cautioned
that the subcommand option is one of several being considered during a study
set for completion Oct. 1, 2001.
But some information warfare experts are already questioning whether
a subcommand is the right option. "No matter how you go about it, building
a unified subcommand virtually from scratch is not going to be cheap," one
Air Force information warfare expert said.
Martin Libicki, a defense analyst at Rand Corp., questioned whether
the two missions need be centralized. "Do you really want everyone doing
things the same way?" he asked.
But putting the two missions under the umbrella of computer network
operations is one reason military officials find the subcommand option attractive.
"The right way to look at this is computer network operations — not
just attack and defense as separate entities. I think you have to put them
together," said Air Force Gen. Ed Eberhart, Spacecom commander. "If you
put them together, it could be a joint task force, but a unified subcommand
would make sense if we decide to invest those types of assets and resources."