Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cyber Warfare

AFA members, Congressional staffers, Civic Leaders, DOCA members, a piece from the Atlantic caught my attention this week (thank you Jack for bringing it to my attention). It is by James Fallows. It starts out with an analysis of the Chinese military (with which I do not necessarily agree) – but most of the piece is about the cyber threat facing our nation. I think Mr. Fallows does a great job of summarizing this very difficult area.

From the piece: "When will China emerge as a military threat to the U.S.? In most respects the answer is: not anytime soon—China doesn’t even contemplate a time it might challenge America directly. But one significant threat already exists: cyberwar. Attacks—not just from China but from Russia and elsewhere—on America’s electronic networks cost millions of dollars and could in the extreme cause the collapse of financial life, the halt of most manufacturing systems, and the evaporation of all the data and knowledge stored on the Internet."

You can find a link to the piece at: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/201003/china-cyber-war Secondly, as most of you know, AF Space Command is the command responsible for both space and cyberspace. Recently, AFSPACECOM published 10 principles for Cyber. The lead for the piece is the rise of the Cyber Wingman … and the first bullet states: “Every time we log onto the network, we are entering a contested domain where the threats and vulnerabilities are real.” Not only does the piece make you think, but it has the added value of being concise. You can find the piece on our website at: http://www.afa.org/EdOp/2010/edop_21210.asp.

Finally, it is clear the US military has to focus more on this domain. The AF has established a Cyber numbered Air Force. DOD has announced the stand-up of a Joint Cyber Command. The cyber domain affects almost everything we do. It is for this reason that AFA has begun a high school cyber competition. We have the finals of this competition in Orlando this week.

We are especially proud of this event – it is a project that is already having significant positive impact and helping to solve a critical national security problem. In a little over a year, CyberPatriot has grown from a concept to a national competition involving nearly 200 teams in 41 states (even a DoDDS high school in Japan). We believe it to be the largest such competition ever conducted, and next year it will double or triple in size. You can watch a short video describing the competition at: http://www.youtube.com/user/AirForceAssocHQ#p/a/u/0/bqfSLVGYTY8.

For your consideration.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Black History Month

AFA Members, Congressional staffers, Civic leaders, and DOCA members, in February every year, the nation celebrates Black History month. For this year, I asked Dr. Alan Gropman, Distinguished Professor of National Security Policy at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces … and arguably this country’s foremost expert on Blacks in the military, to write a piece to gave us a better understanding of why we recognize this subject throughout the month.

His piece is remarkable by a number of measures … first, he brings to the forefront the many contributions of Blacks to our military history. Secondly, he points to the heroism of the many individuals in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, and the World Wars I and II – heroism that most Americans [me included] did not know. Finally he highlights the many contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen to our war effort in World War II. Their extraordinary achievements were but one reason why the Air Force Association recognized the Tuskegee Airmen for a Lifetime Achievement Award – the first ever awarded to a group (rather than an individual) this past year.

Read the piece and tell me what you think. You can find it on our website at: http://www.afa.org/EdOp/2010/AFA_Black_History_Month_2010.asp

For your consideration.


Friday, February 5, 2010

CSAF, A New Bomber and Football

Two weeks ago the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen Norton A. Schwartz, delivered an exceptional speech to a conference hosted by the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis and the International Security Studies Program of the Fletcher School. What I liked about the speech is that Gen Schwartz made the case for why Airpower is important. Its “essentiality” to today’s fight and tomorrow’s deterrence has, in my view, not been appreciated by … well … almost everyone. You can find the speech at: http://www.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-100121-002.pdf

Secondly, a piece that appeared in the Omaha World-Herald by Gen (Ret) Mike Loh is very thoughtful … and had the added benefit of being concise. In it, he argued (among other things) that we need to get moving to field a new bomber within 10 years. Given Sec Gate’s statement this week that DOD plans a new bomber for the late 2020s, I’d ask you to contrast both views with and consider what this nation needs – in these difficult economic times. You can find a link to the piece on our website at: http://www.omaha.com/article/20091207/NEWS0802/712079997


Just prior to the start of the Air Force-BYU football game, Sept. 22, 2009, this video was broadcast in the BYU stadium in Provo, Utah. Later, the USAF Academy Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Gould, showed this clip to the faculty and staff. He told everyone that BYU ran it minutes before the kickoff at the game. He was clearly moved by it, as were those who watched it.

I exchanged emails with General Gould … and he confirmed the accuracy of the above email. This weekend, where most of the nation will be focused on the Superbowl, it behooves all of us to remember …

You can find the YouTube link at: