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Viewpoint

It's the Architecture!

August 2007
By Christopher K. Mellon

This crude but highly effective approach might be just what U.S. federal information technology officials need. Those charged with managing the government's information technology networks—its vital nervous system—should remind themselves, "It's the architecture!" The present paradigm is hopelessly insecure and inefficient. No amount of federal largesse invested in the U.S. government's current Web-based architecture will ever take the nation where it needs to be. As the old Yankee once told the bewildered New York tourist seeking directions to Kennebunkport, Maine, "You can't get there from here."

Network Eccentricity Imperils the Infosphere

July 2007
By Col. Alan D. Campen, USAF (Ret.)

Responding to a soldier's complaint about equipment inadequacies in Iraq, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld replied, "You go to war with the army you have, not with the army you want," and his remark was condemned as an unforgivable excuse for gross mismanagement. While warranted, that criticism could be leveled at most administrations in U.S. history when arms are stacked and forgotten at war's end. Today, mismanagement is exemplified by the current reliance on information operations amid network centricity, which offers as much vulnerability as advantage.

Five Myths Of Cyberspace And Cyberpower

June 2007
By Lt. Col. Forrest B. Hare, USAF

The U.S. Air Force is building a robust cyberwar capability as part of a revised mission that adds cyberspace to the service's fighting domains of air and space. As part of this effort, the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force established a Cyberspace Task Force to help frame the service's direction in this third domain. The task force is working to harness capabilities, take stock of gaps and vulnerabilities, and increase awareness about cyberspace.

Coordinating Disaster Relief Requires a National Plan

February 2007
By Col. James P. Kohlmann, USA, and Col. Keith H. Snook, USA (Ret.)

The United States needs a national emergency communications architecture to provide standards that public safety responders at all levels can rely on for coordination of efforts. Legislation could be necessary to ensure that commercial carriers are part of the solution as the government seeks to leverage commercial, state, federal and defense assets to form a standardized emergency network.

Predictive Insight Offers Commanders Edge

January 2007
By Lt. Gen. Jack Woodward, USAF (Ret.), and Ryan M. LaSalle

Military commanders looking for a battlefield advantage that can tip the balance dramatically in their favor may be able to benefit soon from a promising new technology application. Called predictive insight, it holds the potential not just of making the concept of complete battlespace awareness a reality but also of taking that concept a giant step further.

Curbing Spam Poses New Challenges

August 2006
By Col. Taylor Chasteen, USA; Maj. Cheryl Hynes, USA; and Lt. Col. Ken Blakely, USA

The Sender Policy Framework is an emerging Internet standard that could cause a large part of the U.S. Army's legitimate e-mail to be categorized as spam and dropped. Large e-mail providers in the commercial world are in the initial phases of implementing the framework, and while deleterious effects on Army e-mail have been rare so far, they are almost guaranteed to grow as more providers and intermediaries adopt the standard. However, several courses of action can address the issue, and Army Knowledge Online already has taken steps to implement the framework while simultaneously protecting the future viability of the service's e-mail system.

Cybersecurity Demands Physical Security

February 2006
By Robert Fonow

In the United States, both corporate and Defense Department telecommunications have developed along a path of increasing complexity to support global geopolitical or commercial requirements. The paradox is that while this complexity improves the ability to support worldwide operations, the underlying network is becoming more vulnerable.

Imagery's National Status Faces Questionable Future

May 1999
By Dr. Mark M. Lowenthal

The role of imagery as a national intelligence asset could be on the cusp of a promising alternative future, or it could be about to dwindle significantly. Much depends on the choices that the imagery community makes over the next several years.

Technology Did Not Create and Cannot Resolve Privacy Dilemma

January 2000
By Col. Alan D. Campen, USAF (Ret.)

The exploding use of encryption in cyberspace has spawned a dilemma for policy makers. They must strive to balance citizens' rights to security and privacy with the needs of law enforcement and intelligence to police what a senior defense official terms a "lawless frontier," and others call the "World Wild Web."

Intelligence Is the Long Pole in The Information Operations Tent

March 2000
By Col. Alan D. Campen, USAF (Ret.)

Alarmed that its borders can easily be breached through technology in the hands of criminals, terrorists, nontraditional foes and even the merely inquisitive, the federal government has broadened the definition of national security. In doing so, it has established a timetable for erecting defenses, enlisted a host of recalcitrant bedfellows into its national security apparatus, and charged the intelligence and law enforcement communities to collaborate and perform what some believe without resources to be a near-Sisyphean task.

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