NOTE: I posted this several months ago at the old blog. Recently there have been reports about it being “suspended”, but all that really means if you read past the headlines is that they’re putting it on hold for several weeks during personnel transitions.
Air Force Cyber Command Strategic Vision Released
Air Force Cyber Command’s Strategic Vision spells out the command’s operational scope and postures. Controlling cyber space is key to national security. This was clearly articulated in the 2008 National Threat Assessment delivered by the Director of National Intelligence to the Congressional Armed Services Committee last week. Major General William T. Lord heads up the command that is provisionally located at Barksdale Air Force Base. The command is slated to begin operations in this fall and become fully operational in 2009.
Supremacy in cyber space is critical across all strategic and operations domains. This new command is currently in the process of acquiring a suite of capabilities that will create the flexible options for military and governmental decision makers. These capabilities sought be Cyber Command include but are not limited to the following:
The ability to deter adversaries
The ability to deny access and operations to adversaries
The ability to disrupt adversaries
The ability to deceive adversaries
The ability to dissuade adversaries
The ability to defeat adversaries
This will be accomplished through a variety of offensive and defensive, destructive and non-destructive, and lethal and non-lethal capabilities being developed and deployed within Cyber Command.
The Vision Statement:
The Air Force Cyber Command:
AFCYBER Director, Dr. Loni Cass:
-Former major in the Israeli Air Force.
-Involved in Project CHECKMATE, a “highly confidential strategic planning group tasked with ‘fighting the next war’ as tensions rise with Iran” that was “quietly established” by the U.S. Air Force in June 2007″, which stinks an awful lot like the recent deliberate undersea cable cuts.
The newest major command of the United States Air Force is the Air Force Cyberspace Command (Provisional) located at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., with the mission of creating a permanent Air Force Cyberspace Command by October 2008 and providing the foundation for a follow-on global effects command. Full Operational Capability is planned for October 2009.
Upon formal activation, the Air Force Cyberspace Command (AFCYBER) will trace its lineage to the Strategic Air Command (SAC). Re-designation of SAC to AFCYBER resurrects a lineage that began in World War II and a heritage that embodies the Core Values of the Air Force – Integrity, Service before Self, and Excellence in All We Do.
A “Major Command”:
The aim is to develop ultimately a Major Command that stands alongside Air Force Space Command and Air Combat Command as the providers of forces on whom the President, Combatant Commanders and the American people can rely for preserving freedom of access and commerce in Air, Space, and, now, Cyberspace.
Competing for 1:
The battle being fought by the Air Force is not limited to cyber space. You may have seen the slick new commercials airing on television. This is an offensive move by the Air Force to try and secure the lead position in cyber warfare and defense. The Army and the National Security Agency are also vying for the top spot.
One insider believes that the NSA has already been given the nod. Well, at least unofficially. However, this battle rages on.
Some interesting language:
In 1990, no one knew that we’d be still be engaged in combat in 2006 – yet you kept developing warfighting capabilities. Industry has sustained us in this Long War, bringing in innovation (and assuming risk in JDAM, ROVER, and UAV production for example).
Some future capabilities:
As we talk of future capabilities; I’d like to point out some that draw heavily from Cyberspace and the Information Mosaic:
— We are pursuing automated air refueling concepts applicable to manned or unmanned platforms
— We’re working on the integration of high definition, high-resolution cameras on the EO/IR multi-sensor targeting systems, and the synchronization of full motion video frames
— We are close to the development and demonstration phase of DARPA’s Video Verification of Identity capability, which allows for precise detection and tracking of single and multiple targets under any environmental condition
— We are aggressively pushing to digitize all information, to free up bandwidth used by analog signals, and for easier encryption.
Includes Space Command:
The Policy states, in part: “The United States considers space capabilities — including the ground and space segments and supporting links — vital to its national interests. Consistent with this policy, the United States will: preserve its rights, capabilities, and freedom of action in space; dissuade or deter others from either impeding those rights or developing capabilities intended to do so; take those actions necessary to protect its space capabilities; respond to interference; and deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to U.S. national interests.”
Note the capitalized letters:
“That is why after 53 years we are again seeking 21st Century parallel Strategic Assets in the form of new tankers and global strike to meet our responsibilities in the Air Domain, emphasizing expeditionary, as well as persistent Strategic options, to ensure the robustness of the Nation’s Global Power; and recognizing that the replacement of our Satellite Constellation is at hand, to fulfill our Global Vigilance task.”
The topic is “C4ISR.” For many in the military and certainly for others in the daily walk of life, it helps to take a moment and parse the elements of the acronym.
There are four “C’s” — “Command”, Control”; “Computers”, and Communication”, then, “Intelligence”, “Surveillance” and “Reconnaissance”.
It started with “Command and Control”, an old military studies term. Nowadays the two words are separated as being two individual items, subject to debate. There was even sometimes confusion as to whether the “I” is “Intelligence” or “Information.”
Here are some things to notice. First, the whole term C4ISR has the mantle of familiarity — we don’t step back and pick it apart.
Second, each component is a function — not a Battle Domain, but a function — a form of activity or service.
Third, the six functions are a grab-bag, bundled over the years. While connected in a sense as functions that move data, they are disparate as to physics. But by common assent, we group them for conversation. This facilitates research in the varied areas of Sensors, Electronic attack, and Access and Compiling of Commander-level Information extracted from gathered data.
Finally, the functions all are vital flows within each of the Battle Domains of Land, Sea, Air, Space, and, as we shall see, in Cyberspace.
Justifications for the CYBER COMMAND… note drug trafficking:
Here are some scenarios that emphasize the Imperatives:
-Right now a terrorist lies on his belly in a dusty ditch. He holds a radio transmitter to detonate an improvised explosive device, to kill Americans as they convoy across a stretch of broken asphalt. His use of Cyberspace is currently being contested, but not always.
-Right now a drug trafficker sits under a tarp in a boat, bobbing off a Caribbean beach, setting up, potentially, a cocaine drop for nightfall. He gets GPS coordinates on a SATCOM phone from a controller a continent away. His use of Cyberspace is practically uncontested.
-Right now a Finance Technician is moving U.S. dollars via laptop to support terrorist ops, while sipping coffee in an internet cafe. His use of Cyberspace is practically uncontested.
-Right now a Foreign Government engineer is in the Net using stolen American technology to build radar and navigational jammers to counter American air superiority. His use of Cyberspace is uncontested.
-Right now a Foreign hacker is crashing an American server that holds a web site with data he does not like. His use of cyberspace is uncontested, though subject to pursuit.
-Right now rogue securities traders, sex traffickers and data thieves are poised at computers worldwide, reaching into the American net. In a speech just last week, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales voiced his concern about the predators who range through Cyberspace, accosting our children. Their access to Cyberspace is uncontested, though, again, they are subject to some pursuit.
Each of these examples is real. I could name many more.
A related video:
This video emphasizes how far our Air Force has come with Precision Strike. Also, the video illustrates the components of what I call the “Information Mosaic” — the whole net of data, analog and digital; pixels and composites images; from all sensors that can be collected and downloaded and crossloaded for use by all in the Fight. The video talks of the Interdependent Fight. It refers to integrated and network-enabled systems that put the capability of airpower in the hands of a single soldier.
Piracy a target:
What we are seeing is that the Cyberspace Domain contains the same seeds for Criminal, Pirate, Transnational, and Government-Sponsored mischief as we have contended with in the Domains of Land, Sea, Air, and now contemplate as Space continues to mature.
This reminds us of the history that it is military capabilities that long ago helped make it possible to free the Barbary Coast of pirates, so that our world of commerce and ideas could enjoy Freedom of the Seas, and that Freedom of the Seas continues to be sustained thanks to the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard partnership with the appropriate authorities in coastal jurisdictions.
Flower of … AFCYBER: