Infowar to shape DOD review

Defense Department officials say information warfare will play a major role in the forthcoming Quadrennial Defense Review and in the military's challenges in the next 20 years.

Speaking at a DOD briefing June 14, a senior official who asked not to be named said 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. Information operations and warfare don't quite "have a home" within national security because they are rapidly emerging areas, the official said. One area that may be affected is 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 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 review, congressionally mandated to occur every four years, to help shape its fiscal 2003 budget request, the official said.

"We want a strategy-driven budget, [not] a budget-driven strategy," he said, in a possible attempt to differentiate this year's efforts from the 1997 review.

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