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Presidents Commentary

A Call for Consistency

October 2010
By Kent R. Schneider, SIGNAL Magazine

The intelligence community faces many challenges. Some are unique, but others are symptomatic of problems throughout government. These issues address the need for consistency and reason in intelligence as well as in government decision making. My examples all pertain to the U.S. government, but they can be applied equally to governments everywhere.

As With the Rest of the World, Europe and NATO Are Changing

September 2010
By Kent R. Schneider, SIGNAL Magazine

The fundamental nature of warfare has changed. Asymmetric warfare has become the prominent threat. Non-state actors, often difficult to identify, have become the primary warfighters in many cases. The cyber domain has been recognized as one of the most dangerous and potentially harmful warfighting domains. And, defense and security budgets are strained by a troubled global economy. Does this sound familiar? It is the environment no matter where you sit on this globe.

The Primacy of Focus on Cybersecurity

August 2010
By Kent R. Schneider, SIGNAL Magazine

This month’s SIGNAL Magazine includes a focus on information security, which, these days, I can only think about in the context of the larger cybersecurity problem. There finally is a preoccupation with discussing cybersecurity on an international basis. The important question is, “How much of this dialogue is being converted to action/implementation?” This is a timely subject for me, as I have written this commentary while sitting in an international conference on Regional Collaboration in Cyber Security being held in Singapore.

It Is All About the Enterprise

July 2010
By Kent R. Schneider, SIGNAL Magazine

The U.S. Army has become a fount of innovation. Under the leadership of Lt. Gen. Jeff Sorenson, USA, the Army’s chief information officer/G-6, and Maj. Gen. Susan Lawrence, USA, commanding general of the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM), the Army is transforming its LandWarNet to become a global enterprise network fully capable of supporting an expeditionary Army in an era of persistent conflict.

Change Is More Than a Line Item

June 2010
By Kent R. Schneider, SIGNAL Magazine

The U.S. fiscal year 2011 budget submission is in the hands of Congress, and information on defense budgets internationally provides clarity in the wake of the global economic crisis. At the same time, dialogue with government and industry has given us some insight into near- and mid-term direction. I want to share some of that information because the more we all understand probable trends and direction, the better we will be able to work together to provide the solutions needed going forward.

Joint Operations Are Complex and Diverse

May 2010
By Kent R. Schneider, SIGNAL Magazine

This edition of SIGNAL Magazine includes a focus report on joint operations, and AFCEA holds its Joint Warfighting Conference, partnered with the U.S. Naval Institute, this month at the Virginia BeachConvention Center, May 11-13. The joint environment has more players and a more comprehensive potential mission set than we have routinely considered in the past. The concept of joint now includes interagency, and joint and coalition are nearly inseparable. Missions range from conventional and asymmetric warfare to humanitarian assistance/disaster relief.

The program for the Joint Warfighting Conference, developed with the commander and staff of the U.S. Joint Forces Command, illustrates this complexity. Speakers include the expected key joint commanders and senior leaders: the Honorable Michèle Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, U.S. Defense Department; Adm. Michael Mullen, USN, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Gen. Stéphane Abrial, FAF, supreme allied commander transformation, NATO; Gen. David Petraeus, USA, commander, U.S. Central Command; Vice Adm. Robert Papp Jr., USCG, commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area; and Gen. James Mattis, USMC, commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command.

Because the commands cannot tell the entire story, the conference also features representatives from a broad range of perspectives: the military services, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, law enforcement, the cyberspace environment, the research and development community, the acquisition community, innovative authors, the media and others.

An Agency In Transformation

April 2010
By Kent R. Schneider, SIGNAL Magazine

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is in the final stages of planning and executing its Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) move from Arlington, Virginia, to Fort Meade, Maryland. Our nation remains at war, with a surge occurring in Afghanistan and pending withdrawal being planned and prepared in Iraq. The recently published Quad- rennial Defense Review will drive a course change in critical defense domains. Cyberspace has become a focus for our nation, and it has gained priority in governments around the world as a warfighting domain.

Cyberspace Issues Touch Everyone

March 2010
By Kent R. Schneider, SIGNAL Magazine

Probably no other area is receiving more attention and more discussion in the global security community than cyberspace. The realm of cyberspace is so critical to every part of society that it finally has been recognized as both a major asset and a threat environment. It could have tremendous impact on defense as well as crucial industries such as finance, energy, water and others if denied to nations or companies. As a result, every nation is trying to define its roles and vulnerabilities in cyberspace, and alliances such as NATO are creating organizations and procedures to strengthen their position.

Revisiting Homeland Security—Again

February 2010
By Kent R. Schneider

No, the title is not a redundancy. Given all the recent events in homeland security, it appears the whole process will undergo yet another round of reviews. I don’t think any of us would question that security is better today than in 2001. But is it good enough? Probably not.

Acquisition Reform Requires a Broad-Based Effort

November 2009
By Kent R. Schneider

AFCEA increasingly is engaged in the effort to improve the acquisition process, particularly as it supports the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) and information technology communities. The association addresses this critical topic in this edition of SIGNAL; it has supported some workshops to discuss specific aspects of the problem; and it has held two conferences in the past several months on acquisition.

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