Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Remembering Jack Wheeler

AFA members, Congressional staff members, civic leaders, DOCA members, many of you heard in the press about the loss of Jack Wheeler. Most of you did not know him … others did … and very well.

Jack and I exchanged many emails … several per day. Among the many things on which he was working were: Lifting the ban of ROTC in Ivy league schools; questioning why there were fewer Rhodes Scholarships to service academies … especially in the time of war; questioning the ROE in Afghanistan; questioning the strategy (and the losses) in Afghanistan … especially in how it projected vulnerability and attrition; questioning some of the procurement decisions in DOD; and many, many others. He often said he was "addicted to unfair fights."

He was most worried about the cyber domain. A few days before Christmas, Jack sent me (and others) the email below my name. It shows not only the intellect, but also the persuasion and passion he felt. It was entitled: Twelve Cyber Points of Christmas - US is Fighting the First Cyber War. Each of these points could easily be developed into policy papers for decision makers.

There were many in his "inner circle of inner circles." One such person, Robbin Laird, has penned a tribute to him. You can find it on the left side of the home page at: http://www.sldinfo.com/

Finally, I, for one, will miss Jack. He possessed a huge intellect and served passionately in a number of key positions … including an important one in getting the Viet Nam Memorial built. He had a huge heart … and was a great friend of veterans, the Air Force and the Air Force Association. He will be missed.

For your consideration.

Colleagues, Hearty Season's Greetings.

With year 2010 winding up, five years after the December 7, 2005 formal
launch of Cyber into the US Warfighting mission, a Cyber Assessment is
timely. Cyber grows more quickly than many thought five years ago, and imbues
warplanning and citizen awareness, Congressional and budget awareness.

In almost every pertinent sense the US is at war in Cyberspace. Call it
guerilla war, irregular war, insurgency, low intensity war, but it is war.
Julian Assange and Wikileaks is one aspect of the war. Each of the Twelve
Principles of War applies. TOE and Order of Battle apply. Doctrine and the
lessons of old from Napoleon, Esposito, Summers, and Thucydides apply. Think
Aviation in 1924, and in the Spanish Civil War where Hitler tested his

We are in the First Cyber War. It is crude and evolving. The Second Cyber War
will be worse.

May I offer these 12 End of Year Cyber Assessment Points for your comment?
What is omitted? What is misstated and needs correction? Correction, Addition welcome. Think, "The Twelve Cyber Points of Christmas" :)

1. There is unmet need for Citizen Preparedness for worst cases. This has some weight as a need, though experts differ on how urgent; [Name deleted] regards it as very urgent.

2. Quantum Technology is a looming game changer, further driving Moore's Law, eg Quantum Encryption, Quantum Computing (Schrödinger's Cat is Back).

3. Doctrinally the Electric Power Grid is part of Cyberspace, within Cyberspace; eg, this follows from "Cyber as the Electro-Magnetic Spectrum", and, as a practical matter, since Cyber and the Grid are so intertwined, as now being examined in the cutting edge work by Frank Kramer and James Woolsey.

4. Cyber Recruiting Data is still not "Racked and Stacked" quarterly or monthly so that All Hands have view of Accessions, losses to Civ World, progression in Rank, Distribution of Cyber skill codes; rather, this across the board info is scattered in silos. But a full warfighting domain (per DEPSECDEF) needs this summary.

5. Total Cyber Warfighting Budget is not "Racked and Stacked" so that warplanners can make trade-offs among the Air, Cyber, Land, Sea and Space Domains; Budget data is scattered and siloed; again, per DEPSECDEF Cyber is fully a warfighting Domain yet dollar tradeoffs are impeded for lack of summed total budget data: this impedes HASC, SASC, NSC as well as the Services. The US fights cross-domain and multi-domain; dollar tradeoffs cross-domain and multi-domain are a clear unmet need. This impedes treaty discussions the US may have internationally on Cyber.

6. There are important Lessons Learned from the Forward Edge of the Cyber Fight, now in Afghanistan. In military combat terms, while Cyberspace is seamless and universal, from the groundfight perspective there is a Forward Edge in Afghanistan, where cyber targets in the AOR are defended and attacked, a vital source of Lessons Learned. For an historical analogy, Think: Aviation in the Spanish Civil War, where Germany tested its air weapons.

7. Education in Cyber Hygiene and Cyber Skills is not well understood and well led nationally, according to experts who study US education and have spoken with cyber leaders. Many initiatives are afoot nationwide but not well understood and coordinated. At the Five Federal Military Academies, cyber is taught, but field and seaborne training linking cyber defense and offense to precision strike weapons and to the reach back piloting of UAV's is lacking; for example, at USMA in summer combat training, components not yet in place are use of handheld targeting and control and live video streaming devices to attack targets and to defend that weapon system against full cyber counterattack.

8. Overclassification Abounds in Cyberspace channels throughout US Government and has to be corrected. There is perhaps and understandably concern and tension regarding protecting funding and bureaucratic turf involved; the cost is lost unification in command and action. A Statute to force re-classification is probably required. This runs counter to the heightened security concerns caused by Wikileaks, but US unity of command and data exchange remain hampered by overclassification, and to some degree, some may see in the Wikileak's content some indication that there is overclassification.

9. In the cyber commands there is uncertainty still as to what offensive cyber fires are permitted.

10. There is lack of Unity of Command in Cyber Defense nationally, given DHS and DOD and some DOE and ownership of Cyber activities; the power grid as a part of Cyberspace exacerbates Unity of Command issues. FERC is a factor, with pricing control of the Grid.

11. In general the US does not "Train Like it Fights" in cyberspace, including the power grid. One reason is restraint in full-on cyber attack by "Red Teams." This applies to Electric Power Companies, to some extent still in Defense commands, and to citizens. A factor is a desire not to "spook the herd" by fully stating cyber and grid dangers.

12. A glaring oversight is that Cyberspace is omitted from the Title 10 US Code Congressional guidance to war fighters; Air, Land, Sea and Space are in Title 10; Cyber is not. For reasons of plain consistency and uniform guidance the omission is not easy to defend. The Statute needs to be amended to incorporate Cyber into the Basic Guidance which Title 10 constitutes; an explanation for the absence is that Cyberspace is an intelligence Domain, not a Warfighting Domain, but DEPSECDEF has laid that argument to rest: Cyberspace is fully a Warfighting Domain.

Thank you for consideration, any feedback, correction.

Blessings this Season.


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