Hagel to target cyber in quadrennial review

sphere of binary data

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, highlighting the cyber domain as a growing concern, says he plans to address it in detail in the upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review.

Speaking at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event Nov. 5 in Washington, Hagel said that the threat of terrorism has "metastasized," particularly as adversaries gain access to technologies where the U.S. previously enjoyed a strategic advantage.

"Destructive technologies and weapons that were once the province of advanced militaries are being sought by non-state actors and other nations," Hagel said. "This will require our continued investment in cutting-edge defensive space and cyber technologies, and capabilities like missile defense, as well as offensive technologies and capabilities to deter aggressors and respond if we must."

Hagel said that as DOD officials' focus shifts toward the QDR, due in February 2014, competing concerns compounded by extensive budget cuts require "a much-needed realignment of missions and resources," and he outlined six top priorities to guide the planning process.

Among those priorities is the protection of investment in emerging military capabilities, including cyber science and technology, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

"As our potential adversaries invest in more sophisticated capabilities and seek to frustrate our military's traditional advantages – including our freedom of action and access – it will be important to maintain our decisive technological edge," Hagel said. "That has always been a hallmark of our armed forces, even as war has remained – and will remain – a fundamentally human endeavor."

Other priorities include institutional reforms, assessing the force planning construct, balancing the military, addressing personnel and compensation issues and preparing for a "prolonged military readiness challenge" triggered by hundreds of billions of dollars in budget cuts. Hagel warned of potential national security implications related to the readiness problems.

"The Strategic Choices and Management Review showed that the persistence of sequester-level cuts could lead to a readiness crisis, and unless something changes we have to think urgently and creatively about how to avoid that outcome – because we are consuming our future readiness now," he said. "We may have to accept the reality that not every unit will be at maximum readiness, and some kind of a tiered readiness system is, perhaps, inevitable. This carries the risk that the president would have fewer options to fulfill our national security objectives."

About the Author

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

The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign event. Image: Shutterstock

    'Buy American' order puts procurement in the spotlight

    Some IT contractors are worried that the "buy American" executive order from President Trump could squeeze key innovators out of the market.

  • OMB chief Mick Mulvaney, shown here in as a member of Congress in 2013. (Photo credit Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

    White House taps old policies for new government makeover

    New guidance from OMB advises agencies to use shared services, GWACs and federal schedules for acquisition, and to leverage IT wherever possible in restructuring plans.

  • Shutterstock image (by Everett Historical): aerial of the Pentagon.

    What DOD's next CIO will have to deal with

    It could be months before the Defense Department has a new CIO, and he or she will face a host of organizational and operational challenges from Day One

  • USAF Gen. John Hyten

    General: Cyber Command needs new platform before NSA split

    U.S. Cyber Command should be elevated to a full combatant command as soon as possible, the head of Strategic Command told Congress, but it cannot be separated from the NSA until it has its own cyber platform.

  • Image from Shutterstock.

    DLA goes virtual

    The Defense Logistics Agency is in the midst of an ambitious campaign to eliminate its IT infrastructure and transition to using exclusively shared, hosted and virtual services.

  • Fed 100 logo

    The 2017 Federal 100

    The women and men who make up this year's Fed 100 are proof positive of what one person can make possibile in federal IT. Read on to learn more about each and every winner's accomplishments.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group