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December 2008

Cyberspace Security Can Be Gone in a Flash

December 2008

Even the Hundred Years War only had eighty or so years of actually fighting. We should be so lucky. The fact is we are now embroiled in a conflict with no end, no ceasefires, no time outs. This war is not a shooting war in one of the world’s hot spots. This unending struggle is in cyber space and will be a raging conflict until the last circuit board is fried.

Evolving Cybersecurity Faces a New Dawn

December 2008
By Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr., USAF (Ret.)

Over the last two years, we have been inundated with bad news about the state of cybersecurity. The list of concerns is growing and endless: rampant cybercrime, increasing identity theft, sophisticated social engineering techniques, relentless intrusions into government networks, and widespread vulnerabilities continuously exploited by a variety of entities ranging from criminal organizations and entrepreneurial hackers to well-resourced espionage actors. We also are facing the implications of cyberwarfare in light of last year’s cyber attacks against Estonia. In a recent speech on cybersecurity, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff warned, “We’ve entered an era of new threats and vulnerabilities,” and the consequences of failure are exponentially greater.

Narcotics And Terrorism Are Linked, Pose Threats To Hemisphere

December 2008
By Rita Boland

The war on drugs has lost prominence in recent years to the war on terror, but the two dangers are not entirely separate. Leaders and other members of the anti-drug, anti-terror battles met in October to discuss the connections between illicit substances and insurgents and to emphasize the continued problem in the Americas posed especially by cocaine. And while terrorism may be high in the general public’s mind as people fear another attack, drug use is killing thousands of American citizens, including children, every year.

Everyone Is a Participant in Information Operations

December 2008
By Kent R. Schneider

While information operations has been a priority to at least a small percentage of the global security community, it is becoming a mainstream discipline as part of the cyberwarfare initiatives now gaining precedence throughout government and industry. Recent experiences in Estonia and Georgia have convinced even the most skeptical person that cyberwarfare is a global priority and a significant combat multiplier.

Defining AFRICOM's Mission

December 2008
By Hamlin Tallent and Cameron Matthews

Combatant commands are vital to the protection and preservation of U.S. interests. However, in today’s dynamic, volatile global environment, they may need to evolve their “product” to best suit the environment they intend to shape. In the case of U.S. Africa Command, it may be more relevant and effective for the organization to support the region’s fledging democracies. These nations need assistance in establishing their ability to openly share information with each another and international allies. In doing so, U.S. combatant commands can prove invaluable in helping nations grow and prosper to become better service providers to their people and achieve greater positive outcomes as a result.

Morphing Robot Under Development

December 2008
By Maryann Lawlor

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has embarked on a quest to develop a soda-can-size robot that can shape shift enough to fit through a hole the diameter of a quarter. Working with industry and academia, the agency’s Chemical Robots program seeks to create a new class of soft, flexible, meso-scale mobile device that can navigate through arbitrarily shaped openings. As envisioned, the robot would then perform tasks related to search and rescue or reconnaissance, depending on the payload.

Experts Tackle Acquisition Woes

December 2008
By Maryann Lawlor

Heads shake and tongues wag whenever a conversation turns to the topic of the government acquisition process. From agencies that do not know exactly what they want—or do not know how to explain it—to contractors who deliver what they think an agency needs rather than what it asks for, the general consensus is that the system is in serious need of repair. Experts in the acquisition field also agree on some of the key changes that need to occur to put government acquisition back on the right track. Among the top priorities are additional training for the work force, a revamp of requirements approaches and adoption of a logical method for leveraging commercial products.

Tactical System Connects Units

December 2008
By Henry S. Kenyon

The U.S. Marine Corps is issuing a new tactical communications system to deployed and expeditionary forces. This equipment provides forward positions such as operating bases, checkpoints and command posts with reliable, high-bandwidth connectivity to receive and send video, voice and data transmissions. This new tool is being used to link widely dispersed units across Iraq.

Marines Take a Chomp Out of Multiple Radars

December 2008
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Marine Corps is combining five radars into one and planning to attach the result to the back of a tactical vehicle to haul it around. By using state-of-the-art, active electronically scanned array radar technology, Marines will have a highly mobile, multipurpose tool that will help commanders track threats in the air and on the ground. The device will address multiple asymmetric threats targeted at troops and offer them the capabilities they need to be effective in battle in the 21st century.

The Few, the Proud Choose Cornerstone For the Road Ahead

December 2008
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Marine Corps is laying the foundation for its future command and control needs. The service branch is implementing common, modular and scalable hardware and software solutions at all levels of leadership so commanders have the resources they require to direct their troops. New combat operations centers that offer all the tools Marines need to coordinate in the battlespace have been ordered for the major subordinate command level, extending commonality of operations across all echelons. Both the new centers and their older counterparts will serve as a prototype for open-source software development within the Marine Corps.

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