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Redifining your mission...

I don't often point to our competition, for obvious reasons -- they're the competition. But as you might imagine, we read the competition, and yes, I read other blogs including the FedBlog by Tom Shoop, executive editor at Government Executive, who is my counterpart over there. Tom had this item:

9:56 a.m. ET
Cyber Force The Air Force has a new mission statement, and it includes taking on the enemy on the battlefield of networked computers. Here's the full statement:

The mission of the United States Air Force is to deliver sovereign options for the defense of the United States of America and its global interests -- to fly and fight in Air, Space, and Cyberspace.

"We have quite a few of our airmen dedicated to cyberspace ... from security awareness, making sure the networks can't be penetrated, as well as figuring out countermeasures," says Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne.

It's a mighty big step... and it is an interesting issue. Of course, network security has become even more of an issue as the military has moved toward network-centric warfare. And there are people who have discussed an electronic Pearl Harbor. Who knows if it will ever happen, but it sure seems that adversaries know that it is foolhardy to confront the powerful U.S. military head on. Instead it is much easier to come at it in a different way. Earlier this year, we equated it with a Trojan horse. Suicide bombs seem to have been the method of choice in Iraq so far, but if somebody is sly enough to either figure out how to crack military networks... or bring down the financial markets. Who knows? It does high impact, but it may not carry the death toll of a 9/11.

Years ago, a then senior Pentagon IT official told me that there was a ongoing debate between what he called the 'shooters' and the IT folks. It has been a slow change, but I think few can imagine DOD being as effective and lethal without information superiority.

So... nice find Tom!

And I have been corrected by my blogging counterpart who noted that she had this item earlier this week. Nice find, Susan.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Dec 14, 2005 at 12:15 PM


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