Infowar to shape DOD review

Information warfare will play a major role in the forthcoming Quadrennial Defense Review and in the military's challenges looking into the next 20 years, a senior Pentagon civilian said Thursday.

The Pentagon will tell the military services to take information operations and information warfare seriously in the review, which should come out in draft form next month, the official said. Information operations and warfare don't quite "have a home" within national security because they are rapidly emerging areas, he said.

With that remark, he may have been referring to the Joint Task Force-Computer Network Defense, which in the past two years has gone from receiving its funding from the Defense Information Systems Agency and its marching orders from the Office of the Secretary of Defense to being part of U.S. Space Command.

To demonstrate how quickly technology moves compared with the Pentagon's seven-year budget cycle, the official said that the first hacking tools appeared on Web sites in 1999 and within two years hackers had gone through three major cycles of tool upgrades. "We go through a major budget cycle in two years," he said.

The Pentagon will use the Quadrennial Defense Review, a congressionally mandated review done every four years, to help it shape its fiscal 2003 budget request, he said.

"We want a strategy-driven budget, rather than a budget-driven strategy," he said, in a possible attempt to differentiate this year's attempt from the 1997 review.

To guide the review, the official said that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld also will use studies on morale, readiness and quality of life that he has requested, as well as a classified study of the armed services by Andrew Marshall, director of the Office of Net Assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

The key issue for the review is measuring risk, such as the "risk of losing people" in warfare, the official said.

Rumsfeld has attended 16 hours of meetings over a recent 13-day period with senior civilian and military leaders to talk about the review, the official said, and that included a half-day Saturday summit with regional commanders in chief.

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