Cyber Warfare

Air Force designates cyber weapons

futuristic cyberwar

In a move to better position itself for critical funding, Air Force leaders have officially redefined six cyber tools as weapons, according to published reports.

Lt. Gen. John Hyten, vice commander of Air Force Space Command, told the audience at an April 8 joint cyber conference with the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs that the move underscores the need to push forward in better defining the military's cyber domain.

"This means that the game-changing capability that cyber is is going to get more attention and the recognition that it deserves," Hyten said, according to a Reuters report.

The official classification as weapons aims to put the Air Force in a better position to garner diminishing Defense Department funds for cyber requirements, he noted.

"It's very, very hard to compete for resources...you have to be able to make that case," Hyten said.

However, he stopped short of detailing exactly what the capabilities of these cyber weapons might be.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Hyten expressed frustration over the Air Force's ongoing efforts to define cyberspace and digital warfare – debates that he indicated may delay progress in defending cyber interests.

"We need to stop fighting about it and agree on what it is and move forward," he said, noting that the inability to clearly articulate the mission could also be a roadblock to secure funding from Congress.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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