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The Future of the Military, Law Enforcement & National Security

March 11, 2009

Bingo.  This article on Defense Tech.org  hits the nail on the head and needs to be addressed immediately.  I did not understand the full scope of exactly what goes into National Security but it is shocking how truly we have a vurnability that has the impact to effect our security. The author, Kevin Coleman hits the nail on the head but what is more shocking is the fact that this even exists.  He writes:

We have been covering cyber now for several months and my work in cyber defense and security has been going on for over a decade. In that period of time the U.S. government has failed to establish the command authority needed to protect the nation. Critical questions have gone unanswered for months or even years. One of those questions deals with where the cyber command operation headquarters will be located. The physical location for cyber command is not yet decided. This has been a hot topic now for the last ten months and multiple states are jockeying for position.

If that is not bad enough, the government has failed to establish a command and control structure and authorities for offensive cyber capabilities, defensive cyber capabilities and cyber intelligence. With billions of dollars of budget at stake, the amount of political posturing and verbal war has risen to heights not seen before. The level of infighting became un-tolerable for Rod Beckstr�m, Director of the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) at the Department of Homeland Security. This past weekend he resigned. So what should we do?

 

 

 

He goes on to make recommendations. Recommendations that are pretty damn good.  What I want to know is why this has not been addressed?  It’s interesting that he has stated “Politics” is in play.  But on that score I disagree because when it comes to National Security for this country, EVERYONE should have the same goal.  But what he is describing in his recommendations sounds like what Secretary of State Clinton & Gen Jones were discussing.  As to the location, I am with one of the posters in the comment section.  Although I am not a computer guru. I do like plans and outlines.  But one thing I don’t agree with is having it broken down by agency.  My recommendation would be along the lines of this, based on what he already stated:

  1. New agency. We are not just fighting the war on terrorism. We are fighting the war on information as well.   On that score he has that as an option which I think should be the choice and the most important aspect of the entire command.  A agency like this created and fully functional would of been a hell of a backup choice to cover the agencies that had positions that required Senate approval so we wouldnt get into scenario’s like the one in which Britian called us out for.  Because now we have a gap, a weakness, one in which is being broadcasted live and in color.  Almost like a *shadow* gov mirroring the positions they are still trying to fufill.  In my opinion, this is equivalent to a logistics war room.  Because anyone believing terrorists have not stepped the game up by using the online social networks, well, they should read the article on Fox and the group recruiting for a jihad.

Okay, so you have a new agency.  What I do not like is his recommendation on who they should answer to.  I believe that there should be a “board/council”.  Hence the Clinton/Jones collabo that hopefully come into play.  That board/council should contain only the heavy hitters and not those who just want to sit in and report back to someone else.  This is big. Meaning representation from each agency.  You can filter out information easier when you have the individuals involved who need to know to ensure we ALL are on the same sheet of music. That is how good information/intel trickles down.  No one agency should have information the other does not.  Since the entire point is to play defense against the threat I believe all applicable agencies need all hands on deck to include government and civilian agencies.  That way the flow of information will be put out faster when you have representation there to recieve it. So this is a rough draft of  what it could look like, and yes, I love powerpoint slides:

the-board

Now this is only based on a certain portion of his recommendations in regards who this agency would answer to.  I do not believe they should have direct contact to the President.  Whatever information comes from this agency would go through the COUNCIL and THEY would be the ones who would move this info up the chain.  Below are his recommendations but as I said this is defense and offense and his number five is something I do not agree with at all because the entire point is one central location.

Recommendations:

1. Department of Defense (DoD) Secretary Robert Gates owns the offensive capabilities to fight a cyber war and defenses against cyber attack that originate outside the United States.

2. Homeland Defense (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano owns offensive and defensive cyber capabilities for activities within the United States. (Remember a significant number of compromised computers within the U.S. were used in the DDoS attacks against Estonia and Georgia and the uniformed military cannot be used against it own citizens!) U.S. Strategic Command would include cyber in their unified command structure. In addition, DoD must appoint a liason/coordinator to NATO given their role in cyber peace keeping and response to cyber attacks.

3. The National Security Agency (NSA) Director LTG Keith B. Alexander owns cyber intelligence and espionage activities both inside and outside the United States. They continue to collect, analyze and disseminate cyber intelligence as well as any and all counter cyber intelligence activities.

4. A National Cyber Security Executive is added to the Presidential Staff and coordinates all the efforts of DoD, DHS and NSA. Given the civilian, government, business, education interrelationship that cyber has, this matrixed organizational structure is necessary to fully protect and defend our nation (internally and externally).

5. A National Cyber Attach� would be appointed by President Obama Council/Board (emphasis mine) and serve as special liaison to the United Nations and other countries in pursuit of international cyber relations

Okay,  if anything else, none of these positions should be tasked out anywhere else. One centralized location.  Now you move into job description and that is where each of the agencies on the board come in because they can bring in to this imaginary agency individuals who will be tasked to do the job.  That way any information gathered can be viewed and briefed by someone who can explain what it is or the logistics of it.  I think bringing in individuals from all branches/agencies under one could not only cover what this author wrote recommended, but could actually broaden to include a whole lot more aspects of national security instead of just the cyber portion of it.

But the main focus and goal and the point  I am even blogging it is based on this authors title for his article: A Ship with No Captain.  Although the author is focused on Cyber defense.  I think this could be expanded into something else as well.  We have nothing even remotely like this or comes close.  Within this agency they can have tasks forces that are responsible for an array all across the board of every aspect on national security. There would be no middle man.  If you give the power of approval to one body of individuals.  It would stop the hoopla on all of this “lets do investigations” knowing they wont, like Senator Leahy when campaign time comes around by telling individuals what they want to hear to get reelected.

The problem is not Gitmo.  Gitmo serves a purpose.  To be naive and think terrorism and terrorists no longer exist is ludicrous.  The thing is these individuals idealogy and belief is what spurs there fight. We cannot always use our military, sometimes it will require a diplomatic approach or a smaller size element to go in on a mission. Hence the task force theme.  If it were me? I would take that council and allow them to be the approval authority, on everything from detainees being placed in Gitmo or moved anywhere else, to approving interrogation measures .  They would be the ones to take it to the COC  to keep the crap happening now from continuing to be a problem. Actually they should have some kind of bylaws focused soley on interrogation.  Something that can’t be found online that could be blessed off on by the heads of state.  To believe everyone is the same is crazy. But anyway….movin on…this is a general idea of what I am talking about:

task-forceOkay, well I have more but for now that’s it.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 8, 2009 3:07 am

    Hi, cool post. I have been wondering about this topic,so thanks for writing. I will definitely be coming back to your site. Keep up the good work

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