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US Air Force Prepares For Cyber Warfare

"Our life has become totally bounded, dependent on cyberspace. Therefore, the importance of that domain is not only for how we fight, but also for our way of life." - Dr. Lani Kass.
by John C.K. Daly
UPI International Correspondent
Washington (UPI) Oct 09, 2006
The U.S. Air Force is preparing to create a new command to develop techniques for fighting in cyberspace. Air Force Print News reported Oct. 5 that Air Force leaders will gather in Washington in early November to discuss the plans. On Dec. 7, 2005, cyberspace became an official Air Force domain after Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. T. Michael Moseley introduced a new mission statement.

The statement informed Air Force personnel that their new mission was to "deliver sovereign options for the defense of the United States of America and its global interests -- to fly and fight in air, space and cyberspace."

Moseley said that Air Force leaders establishing a new "cyber command" to be responsible for fighting in that domain, commenting: "To deliver the full spectrum of effects we will evolve a coherent enterprise, with war fighting ethos, ready to execute any mission in peace, crisis and war. We will foster a force of 21st Century warriors, capable of delivering the full spectrum of kinetic and non-kinetic, lethal and non-lethal effects across all three domains. This is why we are standing up an operational command for cyberspace, capable of functioning as a supported or supporting component of the joint force."

The new doctrine will be developed from Nov. 16 at the Cyber Summit in Washington.

Air Force Cyberspace Task Force director Dr. Lani Kass said: "The chief of staff of the Air Force is going to gather his senior officers and talk about the new domain, in which, according to our mission, we are going to fly and fight.

"Our objective is to come out with a course -- a vector -- that will set us up for transforming our Air Force, to get us ready for the fight of the 21st Century. The domain is defined by the electromagnetic spectrum. It's a domain just like air, space, land and sea. It is a domain in and through which we deliver effects -- fly and fight, attack and defend -- and conduct operations to obtain our national interests.

"Cyberspace is something on which, as a technologically advanced nation, the United States is hugely dependent. You use your ATM card, you use your cell phone and you go to an Internet cafe. If somebody is pregnant, they go have a sonogram. If they are sick, they have an X-ray or an MRI. All those things are in cyberspace. Our life has become totally bounded, dependent on cyberspace. Therefore, the importance of that domain is not only for how we fight, but also for our way of life.

"Cross-domain dominance means being able to deliver effects in all domains at the same time, at the speed of sound and at the speed of light. We cannot afford to allow an enemy to achieve cross-domain dominance before us. This is the nature of the transformational mission the chief and the secretary gave us. Enemies who cannot match us on land, at sea, in the air, or in space, are exploiting the fact that in cyberspace you have a very low entry cost.

"Low cost is what makes that domain extremely attractive to nations, criminal and terrorist organizations who could not possibly attack the United States symmetrically. All you need to do is buy a laptop or a cell phone. As a matter of fact, you can just go to an Internet café and not even buy that stuff. You can buy yourself a phone card and you can cause high-impact effects," he said.

"What I see in the future is true cross-domain integration, to deliver effects, like we deliver in air and space, where the commander has at his disposal, truly sovereign options, as stated in our mission, which is the ability to do whatever we want, wherever we want, whenever we want, and however we want -- kinetically, and nonkinetically and at the speed of sound and at the speed of light."

Source: United Press International

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