Saturday, March 28, 2009

Weekly Roundup


Ben2012 said...

I'm not sold on the necessity for cyberwarfare branch, at least as currently proposed, for a few reasons. Essentially, the main thrust for the addition is that "The core missions of the Army, Navy and Air Force -- to conduct war on land, sea and air -- do not take into account the unique demands of cyberwarfare, according to Surdu and Conti. "Cyberwarfare is fundamentally different from traditional kinetic warfare," the authors wrote." I agree, in that the Army, Navy, and Air Force probably don't do a good enough job of recognizing cyberthreats to their weapons.

The solution, though, is not to pretend that these threats of an entirely different nature. All three branches rely heavily on electronics to fight. Just as using submarines opens the Navy up to the threat of depth charges (an otherwise useless weapon), all three forces have opened themselves up to the threat of tactical electronic warfare. Just as the Air Force is not responsible for protecting subs against depth charges, tactical counter-cyberwarfare action should stay within the branches. It makes little sense to take the best electronics people and move them to another service, further exposing the individual branches to tactical cyberthreats. Of course, the current situation is little better, as these individuals shouldn't be preparing PowerPoints for flag officers. Rather, they should be explicitly tasked with securing their branch's weapons, as a high level unit within that service.

If a fourth service is to be established, it should not attempt to regulate the others or be the IT of the entire military. To say nothing of questions of culture and turf wars, it is too difficult for a single branch to understand the dynamics of air, sea, and land warfare.—that is what services are separate to begin with. Rather, such a service should focus on strategic cyberstrike and cyberprotection capabilities and should have a seat at the Joint Chiefs to ensure full strategic integration. At the tactical level (e.g., jamming radio frequencies to minimize IED strikes, or building radar avoidance systems for planes), it makes sense to leave cyberwarfare to the individual branches, but in large-scale missions, the terrain is in fact different enough that a change is needed.

Jessie D said...

Response to March 23rd Reading:
As said in “Al Qaeda and the Internet: The Danger of “Cyberplanning”, the internet definitely enables “a person or group to appear to be larger or more important or threatening than they really are”. Adding to this problem is the government's inability to sustain an influential force over the internet as they can with other news sources, such as television and newspapers. The Special Report furthers this argument as it discusses terrorist progression enabled through the internet. For instance, one mode of progression which I found striking was networking as I think it definitely relates back to the issue of intimidation. The more people a single individual or group is connected to on the internet, the more powerful they may seem. In fact, as I continued to read these articles I became increasingly convinced that we need to have a new internet because the mass amount of information that is on the web simply cannot be regulated. In “Terrorists Turn to the Web as Base of Operations” it mentions how instructions on something as brutal as to how to “shoot a U.S. soldier” can be easily accessed by one who wishes to know how. The internet also provides a terrorist with a sense of security as he is not face to face with his adversary, but is behind a computer screen instead. Therefore, cyber attackers may be more quick to take action like the terrorist mentioned in the article named Tsouli, who may be better known as Irhabi007 or even “The Man who put Al-Qaeda on the Web”. As stated in “The Internet: Midwife of Global Radicalism?” al-Qaeda has become “The first truly global terrorist movement.” The most powerful part of this article, however, would have to be the way that they go about conveying such anti-war beliefs. For instance, it was said that they would choose a common American name and create false stories of how he knows people who not only fought in the war, but are now facing the brutal effects. By directing their efforts on the emotions of Americans the terrorists are bound to get results since many people have been increasingly skeptical of the implications of the war and the effects on those who take part in it. Therefore, after reading these articles it has become evident to me that not only is cyberterrorism a problem for it is very common, but it is also a problem because the terrorists are clever and are aware of what needs to be done to have an impact on society.