The next war is likely to begin with an attack launched through cyberspace, according to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe. Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN, pointed out to a luncheon audience at West 2010 that Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Georgia all suffered organized foreign cyber attacks within the past four year. In Georgia's case, the cyber attack was coordinated with a conventional military attack using kinetic weapons. "I believe that it's more likely that an attack will come from not a bomb off a bomb rack, but instead electrons in cyberspace," Adm. Stavridis declared. And this threat requires attention by NATO.
First, I have to apologize for promising, via blog, to get to the real tech on the WEST conference this afternoon. Truth is, first I had some tech problems of my own (thanks to the SIGNAL New Media Editor for being patient with me!), but, more importantly, I was engrossed in this afternoon's panel session of top leaders talking up the most important issues in the cyber domain. Led by Vice Adm. Nancy Brown, USN (Ret.), former J-6, JCS, panelists agreed that IT ownership-and responsibility for its security-belongs to every level of command, from staff members to CEOs, from privates to generals. "Ignorance is our biggest vulnerability [in the cyber domain]," stated Vice Adm. Carl Mauney, USN, deputy CO, STRATCOM. In addition to Adm.
One way of providing enhanced cybersecurity would be to establish high security zones into which users could operate amid greater security, suggested the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen James E. Cartright, USMC, speaking at West 2010, allowed that the military faces cybersecurity challenges in the greater realm of the Internet. "We have no authority in that Wild Wild West called .com, but we still operate there," he pointed out.
Budget constraints and the new Quadrennial Defense Review are the catalysts for needed defense changes, according to the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. James E. Cartwright, USMC, told an overflow crowd at the start of West 2010 in San Diego that the military must break away from its old two high-end war structure and focus on fighting lesser conflicts. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have taught us that these "lesser conflicts" are much tougher than expected, he said. "The intent now is to move off of the two major wars construct and focus on the type of wars that we actually are in-not the wars that we hope we'll be in," Gen. Cartwright declared.
The United States is in the midst of an economic shift through which the nation must prevail if it is to maintain effective national security. Gen. James E. Cartwright, USMC, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told an audience at West 2010 that the United States must fix its economy and deal with change if it is to maintain security. "We're in a major economic crisis," he said. "Economics is a big part of warfare. If you ignore it, you'll do it at your nation's peril." The United States is moving from an industrial construct in an industrial age into one that looks more like Moore's law-with a change cycle as short, the general elaborated. For example, how does the Navy build aircraft carriers to last 50 years in this cycle?
Developments in missile defense have led to a capability that is international in nature and agnostic in application. That was the assessment of Gen. James E. Cartwright, USMC, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Speaking at West 2010, Gen. Cartwright allowed that missile defense is much more capable than it was 10 years ago. He cited its multilayered international capability that provides greater defense around the world. "We have moved to a distributed global capability that is agnostic to where it is set up and delivered," he said, adding that this system shares awareness with people who are not necessarily allies.
Next week is the West 2010 Conference in San Diego. For those of you who will be attending the conference, we look forward to seeing you there. (Look for the SIGNAL editors to say hello--we'll be the ones running around to all of the events, frantically taking notes and muttering to ourselves.) If you're unable to attend but want to keep up with the conversations and discussions, there are plenty of ways to tune in:
Follow @signalmag on Twitter and use the hashtag #west10.
Read our editors' blog coverage here on SIGNAL Scape.
The second and final day of AFCEA's SOLUTIONS Series event focusing on cyberspace demonstrated that the military and government are still perplexed by this new domain. In speeches and panel sessions, most agreed on the problems but few agreed on the solutions. In fact, many of the proposed solutions were diametrically opposed.
Sherri Ramsay, director of the NSA's Central Security Service Threat Operations Center, opened AFCEA's SOLUTIONS Series today by admitting that the intersection of cyber, national and economic security has changed the way her organization interacts with industry. Citing statistics that cybercrime has cost individuals more than $2 billion, Ramsay called for shared network situational awareness across the U.S. government, industry and individuals. This holistic approach must include information about who owns, operates and defends the networks, she said.
Like previous AFCEA SOLUTIONS Series events, the one focusing on cyberspace features three concurrent track sessions, each addressing specific aspects of the conference topic. Panelists participating in Track 1 sessions at "Cyberspace at the Cross Roads: The Intersection of Cyber, National and Economic Security" are discussing the foundational issues in cybersecurity. Track 2 panelists are exploring current initiatives that are addressing the cyber threat. Experts leading dialogue in Track 3 sessions are examining long-term plans for cybersecurity.
Two leaders in the intelligence realm shared their main concerns about security and cyberspace to a packed auditorium at AFCEA's SOLUTIONS Series "Cyberspace at the Cross Roads: The Intersection of Cyber, National and Economic Security." Rosemary Wenchel shared some of the ways cyberspace has changed the world, and Dawn Meyerriecks explained the solutions the government will be looking for in the future.
The U.S. Marine Corps is ramping up to conduct operations in cyberspace as part of its everyday capabilities. Marine Air Ground Task Forces (MAGTFs) will operate in cyberspace as they do on land, sea and air, according to the head of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific. Lt. Gen. Keith J. Stalder, USMC, commander of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, allowed that cyberwarfare normally is not associated with the Marines. Nonetheless, the Corps is moving into training and making investments in cyberwarfare capabilities and facilities, he told the Thursday breakfast audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2009 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Government needs to "think flat' and create a cybersecurity architecture that emphasizes a peering structure rather than a vertical architecture. Robert J. Giesler, vice president and corporate executive agent for cyber programs, SAIC, expanded on that statement while moderating an industry panel on cybersecurity at TechNet Asia Pacific 2009, being held in Honolulu, Hawaii, November 2-5. He stated that cyber operations centers should have a peer relationship rather than a hierarchical one. The hierarchical approach generates layers of decision making and latency.
The information technology arena is experiencing large tectonic shifts that are directly affecting requirements for cybersecurity. Transitions-from physical to virtual; from the premise to the cloud; from more formal networks to social networks-will have their counterparts in new security requirements and approaches. According to Don Proctor, senior vice president, Software Group, Cisco, innovation should be a strategy for managing risk. Speaking at an industry panel on cybersecurity at TechNet Asia Pacific 2009, being held in Honolulu, Hawaii, November 2-5, he said that the threat is dynamic, not static.
China and the United States are constantly redefining their relationship in a dynamic that could lead to conflict if both sides are not careful, according to a leading U.S. Asia-Pacific expert. Dr. Denny Roy, senior fellow and supervisor of POSCO Fellowship Program, East-West Center, warned that the evolution of this relationship matches past patterns that have led to confrontation. Speaking in a panel on the Pacific Rim at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2009, being held in Honolulu, Hawaii November 2-5, Roy said that the implications of the rise of China are extremely profound.
"There is no warfare area more important than cyber." That was the assessment offered by Vice Adm. Richard W. Hunt, USN, commander of the U.S. Third Fleet. Moderating a panel focusing on multinational operations at TechNet Asia Pacific 2009, Adm. Hunt outlined the challenges facing the United States as cyberwarfare increases in importance. The resultant increased capabilities of cyberspace come with increased vulnerability, and successful operations in other areas depend on our ability to control cyber and to prevent an enemy from damaging it, he stated. The admiral asked how we can protect and give assured communications flow across the board.
The U.S. military by and large is taking the wrong approach to cyberwarfare by treating it as a separate entity without the innovation that should bring. The country needs to incorporate it with other military activities and turn loose creative leadership for U.S. cyberwar activities to prevail. "What happens in cyberspace doesn't stay in cyberspace; it affects the real world," declared Jim Newman of the Navy Information Operations Command serving with the NSA CSS Hawaii.
National security threats are drawing the U.S. Coast Guard deeper into the Asia-Pacific region as it carries out its conventional missions in unconventional areas. Piracy, drug smuggling and even overfishing are becoming more prevalent in U.S. and neighboring waters, and the Coast Guard is finding itself forming alliances with foreign counterparts. Rear Adm. Manson Brown, USCG, commander, 14th Coast Guard District, outlined several national security aspects of its stewardship mission to a Tuesday luncheon audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2009, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, November 2-5.
The U.S. Coast Guard's Deepwater program has a new name and already is generating results for Coast Guard personnel. Now known as the Coast Guard Acquisition Program, the troubled effort is generating positive results, according to Rear Adm. Manson Brown, USCG, commander, 14th Coast Guard District. Responding to an audience question after his luncheon and keynote address at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2009, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, November 2-5, Adm. Brown stated that the program is necessary for replacing old equipment that may not be capable of meeting the new demands facing the Coast Guard.