Skip to comments.Official Cites Value of Cyberspace to Warfighting Operations
Posted on 04/08/2009 6:19:00 PM PDT by Cindy
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Official Cites Value of Cyberspace to Warfighting Operations
By Gerry J. Gilmore American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 8, 2009 Maintaining and protecting the U.S. militarys worldwide computer network is a vital component of national security, a senior official said here today.
For the United States military, cyberspace is a warfighting domain and it is critical to our operations, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters. And so, we do have to aggressively protect our networks and our ability to work in cyberspace.
It also is important, Whitman said, that the Defense Department dedicate the resources necessary to maintain its cyberspace capabilities. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has indicated hed like to bolster the Pentagons cyberspace capability, he noted.
During an April 6 Pentagon news conference in which he discussed the proposed fiscal 2010 defense budget, Gates told reporters he wants to increase the number of cyber experts who can be trained for departmental service from 80 students per year to 250 per year in fiscal 2011.
Maintaining cyberspace assets is increasingly important to warfighters, Air Force Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, told members of the House Armed Services Committees subcommittee on strategic forces March 17. Chilton also told the House legislators hes concerned about growing threats against military computer networks.
Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pointed out that times have changed, as he sat at Gates side during the April 6 Pentagon news conference. In the past, Cartwright said, conventional-warfare adversaries knew exactly who they were fighting and where the threat emanated.
However, that's not the case anymore in cyber warfare and weapons of mass destruction, Cartwright said, because there are venues without attribution that we have to deal with as we move to the future.
Biographies: Robert M. Gates Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright Air Force Gen. Kevin P. Chilton Related Sites: U.S. Strategic Command
Related Articles: News Conference Transcript
“Presenter: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
April 06, 2009
DoD News Briefing With Secretary Gates From The Pentagon”
Note: The folllowing text is a quote:
Cyber Defense Cost Pentagon $100 Million in Six Months, Officials Say
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 8, 2009 Defending the Defense Departments global information grid from attacks cost the U.S. military more than $100 million over the past six months, U.S. Strategic Command officials said yesterday.
Air Force Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, Stratcom commander, and Army Brig. Gen. John Davis, deputy commander of Joint Task Force Global Network Operations, spoke from a cyber security conference in Omaha, Neb.
Chilton said Stratcom charged with overseeing cyber operations needs to treat computer network operations just as commanders treat operations on the land, in the air or on the sea. Defense Department networks are attacked thousands of times a day, he said. The attacks run the gamut from bored teenagers to the nation state with criminal elements sandwiched in there.
The motives of those attacking the networks go from just plain vandalism to theft of money or information to espionage. Protecting the networks is a huge challenge for the command, Chilton said.
Pay me now or pay me later, Davis said in assessing how to handle the threat. In the last six months, we spent more than $100 million reacting to things on our networks after the fact. It would be nice to spend that money proactively to put things in place so wed be more active and proactive in posture rather than cleaning up after the fact.
Davis command is responsible for defensive and offensive operations in cyberspace. The expenses were in manpower, time, contractors, tools, technology and procedures, he said.
Training is needed for personnel to launch both defensive and offensive operations, Chilton said. We need to train all our folks and we need high-end skill training, he said.
Stratcom operates the Defense Departments global information grid, Chilton noted. We also have the responsibility to plan for and when directed to conduct offensive operations, he said. As in all domains, a good defense relies on a good offense.
As in land, sea and air domains, the United States wants to retain freedom of action in the cyber domain, Chilton said. We need to have the tools, skills and expertise in a time of conflict so we can maintain our freedom of action, he said.
Chilton said Defense Department personnel need to change the way they think about cyberspace. Its not just a convenience. Its a dependency that we have, he said. We need to change the way we conduct ourselves in cyberspace and hold our military folks to the same high standards that we hold our air, land and sea operators to.
A prohibition on using so-called thumb-drives and other portable data storage devices on Defense Department computers will remain in effect, Davis said. I dont think anybody realizes how much better shape wed be in if we just did the basics right, he said. People need to just apply the basic rules and procedures that have been put in place to protect ourselves.
While this wont stop the more sophisticated threats, it sure will get rid of the thousands of things that clutter the environment, Davis said.
Air Force Gen. Kevin P. Chilton
U.S. Strategic Command
Joint Task Force Global Network Operations Fact Sheet