Blog: Defense Department Faces Cyber Strategy Gaps

August 1, 2011
By Rachel Eisenhower

In the midst of a global cyberspace crisis, the U.S. Defense Department faces many hurdles in its effort to protect and defend government computer networks. According to an unclassified version of a previously issued classified report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), several cyberspace capability gaps exist. The U.S. Cyber Command is decentralized and spread across various offices, commands, and military services and agencies, which makes the supporting relationships necessary to achieve command and control of cyberspace operations unclear. In response to a major computer infection, the U.S. Strategic Command identified confusion regarding authorities and chains of command. Moving forward, the GAO recommended clarifying these relationships and establishing a timeframe for this guidance. Among other proposals, the GAO called for a single joint publication to address cyberspace operations. The Defense Department agreed with the recommendations.

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Leadership should consider forming a new branch of service such as a Cyber Corps that can be staffed, trained and equiped to meet the coming challenges of Cyber Warfare effectively and with a focused efficiency such as the Air Force that was born out of the Army Air Corps.

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