WIRED Cracks Cyber-Battle Code

Just a quick note between conflicting conference sessions in different locations around the DC Beltway, to note that WIRED’s premier national-security blogger Noah Schactman may have just cracked the code – or at least “a” code – on where the ongoing dispute over “control of cyber” is heading in national security circles, in his latest DangerRoom post (“Air Force Cyber Command Could Return, with Nukes“).

The dispute has been reported lightly, in places like the NextGov blog (“The Cyber Command Power Play?”), and usually boils down to a perceived battle between the U.S. Air Force and the nation’s Intelligence Community, over control of the increasingly central issue of cyber offense and cyber defense.

I’d been alerted to the debate earlier by Jason Bacheler, one of the up-and-coming new generation of technologically adept Air Force officers.  Jason (LinkedIn profile here) has been serving as DIA’s deputy CTO for the past couple of years, and his Twitter feed and other observations are typically spot-on with political acumen and policy depth. 

By the way, a central figure in this is Gen. James Cartwright, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (bio here). When I briefed “Hoss” Cartwright a couple of times (once during his tenure running Strategic Command when he was interested in launching Web 2.0 tools there, more recently when he was new at JCS and was interested in the Alien program), he had enormous interest in the outer edges of technological capabilities and cyber issues, and a real appetite for the opinionated discourse of his people – good sign, I thought.  He’s also a demonstrably gifted political actor in his realm, so his role in the cyber debate could be decisive… Oh, and he isn’t USAF, by the way – he’s a Marine. 🙂

Leads me to believe that Noah at WIRED should request a one-on-one interview with Cartwright; I bet it’d be granted and I bet it’d be fascinating…

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2 Responses

  1. Noah’s article is a good one. The prescription (bring back SAC, with Cyber Command attached) sounds like a bad one.

    The fundamental problem of high-quality control over the nuclear arsenal needs a dedicated command that does not have a mish-mash of cyberstuff attached to it.

    I wonder if this “Global Effects” command is also partly a response to the conventional Trident initiative.


  2. Speaking of Wired, Lewis, you’re mentioned in today’s DangerRoom post: http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/09/onine-posse-ass.html


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