The Snail’s Progress: Cyberwar

Hope everyone is enjoying this weekend of the 241st anniversary of the First Brexit. An interesting note on that era of warfare was the absence of commercial sponsorship. Fortunately we’ve evolved so that some great ideas presented in this post were originally offered to the US of A for free over 20 years ago (being the ideas folks were commissioned officers) are now going to cost you a lot of money. We are progressing, albeit expensively, like snails instead of pilgrims to Cyberwar. First up from the industry magazine C4ISRNet comes from an on-going intellectual exercise in splitting out a cyber warfare Command from the National Security Agency to create a combat headquarters.

“I think from the [combatant commands], what I hear is they are not seeing something that helps them in their campaign, and because of that they’re a little bit distrustful of their being able to depend on what they ask for,” Leigher told C4ISRNET. “They don’t have control over it, it’s not expressed in a way that makes sense for a plan that they already have on the books.

Because no good idea shouldn’t cost the annual GDP of South America: “Raytheon to assess effectiveness of cyber, electronic warfare tools.”

Awarded by the Missile Defense Agency, Raytheon’s Coordinated Cyber/Electronic Warfare Integrated Fires program, or CCEWIF, is designed to help develop concepts of operations as opposed to an active, real-time planning tool, Todd Probert, vice president of Mission Support and Modernization at Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services, told C4ISRNET.

The cyber realm is as much in your head as it is a collection of boxes and wires and antennae. For the commanders who aren’t able to translate the second dimension into many more dimensions in their heads (we call them “General”), a few billions of our tax dollars will be spent to help them.

“I truly believe that our commanders at each echelon need to have the capability to visualize this [cyber] battle space, this domain,” Brig. Gen. Patricia Frost, who leads the Pentagon’s new cyber directorate, said in November at the annual CyberCon conference hosted by C4ISRNET and Federal Times. “We give tremendous intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to commanders at every echelon. They physically can see aspects of their battlespace. This is a battlespace, a domain they need to be able to visualize as well.“

I should be pleased the jokers inside the Beltway are finally clueing in to what warfighters and cybernauts have been talking about for decades, but considering we’ve had an Air Force for 70 years and they still can’t figure out war (they do look very pretty in their flight suits though), I do wonder how long Cyber Command will take to become combat effective. Will DoD consider cyber to be a combat arm, or a combat support arm? Will its warriors receive the Combat Keyboard Badge with SCSI lanyard or a Combat Action Ribbon with Bronze Mouse? There are many, many mouseturds to be tripped over until we arrive, but this is a start.

Über DaveO

Retired soldier, micro-farmer, raconteur and pet owner from the great state of Oklahoma. Wandered in as a frequent commenter and have been enjoying blogging ever since.
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