CyberWar: Security, Strategy and Conflict in the Information Age
Contributing editors Col. Alan D. Campen, USAF (Ret.), Douglas H. Dearth and R. Thomas Goodden
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This anthology begins with the insight of the physicist, scholar and lecturer who introduced the phrase "information warfare" to our lexicon in 1976--a time when the nation was preoccupied with the threat of nuclear war. Dr. Thomas Rona reminds us that the principal weakness in military ventures always has been logistics, and that "information" is the fodder of modern warfare--with threats aimed not just at warriors in combat, but at the civilian information infrastructure as well. The security of these "infrastructures"--civil as well as military--is the focus of this book.
Part One --The Information Age in Historical Perspective
The Information Age has come under the view of historians who are well-grounded in the agricultural and industrial revolutions, but who seem inattentive to the unique factors that are shaping the Information Revolution. Information Age/Information War is an historical analysis of the information quotient in military and geopolitical affairs; an era of fundamental and global change in intellectual, philosophical, cultural and social terms. This essay, by Douglas Dearth and Charles Williamson, examines the impact on the growing urban masses, huddled in under-developed countries, becoming aware of what they do and do not have, and, who are obliged to traverse the information highway "on foot."
The Revolution in Military Affairs: The Information Dimension takes the reader on a sweeping overview of the military role today, and what it might be like under varying interpretations of information warfare. Michael Brown begins with the synergistic effects of information on military operations, describing an Information-based revolution that is producing a new environment from technologies that already exist, and from weapons that have either been built, or are on the drawing board. He examines the impact of information technologies on intelligence (where most targets will be discovered), on logistics (where "just in time" means no expensive and vulnerable baggage train), on command and control (where simulation replaces sand tables and where command arrangements combine hierarchical and non-hierarchical processes); and, where "fire support" becomes precision strike.
Alvin Toffler gave us the theory of the Three Waves, but this essay contends the Information Revolution predated and actually shaped the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions. While the current literature on information war begins 2500 years ago with Sun Tzu, War, Information and History: Changing Paradigms, commences with an information-based culture over ten thousand years ago, where the power of hunter-gatherers was based on "knowing" not "owning," and there was no war. Elin Whitney-Smith writes about the social dynamics of information and war, and a series of Information Revolutions that changed how people defined themselves, and defined what people are willing to fight and die for.
Part Two--Cyberwar and Society
Uncommon Means for the Common Defense by Alan Campen is about the search for a new national security sanctuary in cyberspace. The National Information Infrastructure--which transports the bulk of government and military communications--will be built and owned by the private sector; in response to the requirements of poorly-informed customers; and by industries with little financial incentive to buttress what they build against malicious attacks. "It is precisely the standards designers use to make technology efficient that make it easy to attack." This essay argues that only strong federal guidance and funding can adequately secure the NII against the effects of information warfare.
Creating a Smart Nation: Information Strategy, Virtual Intelligence, and Information Warfare is a sweeping indictment of our national security posture. Robert Steele asserts that national security is at risk by confronting current threats with 19th century concepts; for preoccupation with digital technology; and by an intelligence community optimized, less for thoughtful analysis than for "the collecting of secrets." This essay examines structural and policy defects in the processes of intelligence, and calls for a National Information Strategy built upon political, military, economic and cultural objectives, to guide preparation for conflict in the Information Age. A transnational, "virtual intelligence structure" is proposed, employing voluntary participation across a broad spectrum of citizenry.
Protecting the United States in Cyberspace is an alternative view of risks, threats and solutions by an expert who provides a balanced, objective assessment. Martin Libicki concludes the problem lies more in the "tomorrow" than in the "today," and that solutions lie in shared responsibility, not vesting in a "commander-in-chief" with a console of "buttons that attach to nothing." He calls for more perception and less panic about a very real, but as yet poorly defined threat, and provides a check-list of practical and do-able steps of things to do--and things not to do--to secure our networks, while there is yet time to do so. "Who should guard the NII? If it's yours, then you should."
The Role of The Media is about a new reality where the media believes that it has not only a duty to report the news, but also has the power to influence events. James Adams is an experienced reporter who provides candid and detailed insights into how the media likely will react when it next goes to war. He portrays a world where "many of the political leaders...have no concept of the political and personal consequences of warfare...No true concept of the horrors of war...and few reporters and editors who have covered conventional conflicts." This essay describes a world where politicians are driven by newspaper headlines and the results of opinion polls which are formed by those very same headlines. This essay contains advice for public, political and military planners who must confront an evermore intrusive media, and opines that it would be foolhardy for any government to plan for the control of information in the event of tension or conflict. Instead, Adams argues, that attention be focused on the exploitation of Cyberspace: the potential for "huge force multiplication by inserting the right information in the right part of the network."
We live and work in a physical world where safety and well-being heavily depend upon the ability to fix people, things and transactions precisely and accurately in place and in time. Cyberspace knows no such boundaries and the potential for fraud, abuse, misuse in this virtual world are significant when jurisdictions cannot be determined. Grounding Cyberspace in the Physical World is about the use of the Global Positioning System to aid personal and network security by affixing a secure, precise and continuous location signature to all terminals, fixed or mobile. This could be used to control login access, locate perpetrators of cybercrimes, prevent spoofing, summon emergency services, or serve as an electronic notary. This essay by Dorothy Denning and Peter MacDoran describes technical capabilities, risks and safeguards as well as privacy considerations.
In modern warfare, it is information technology that fuels modern tactics, but our current acquisition system is designed for large products that are stable in design and bought for more than a decade of use--hardly a blueprint for buying off-the-self items that will have a life of a few years at most. New Approaches to DOD Information-Systems Acquisition argues that the benefits of information warfare will be foreclosed unless some fundamental changes are made to the way we acquire information technology: a shift from thinking about building systems, to buying systems. Keys to this new approach are what Michael Loescher calls Pyramidal Programming; Cyclical Acquisition--a notion that AFCEA encouraged two decades ago--and Assembly Line Fielding.
Business Strategies in the Information Age examines the role of government, trade, and industry associations in strengthening the NII; and about the predatory aspects of competition that chill cooperation among the many industries that must work together if the NII is to be safe and secure. How well equipped and motivated are those industries to produce a "system of systems" that will satisfy the disparate demands of the private and public sectors? Author Goodden asks--and provides some practical answers to the question--how can government and industry cooperate in the design and maintenance of a secure NII, without compromising competitive position and jeopardizing survival in the marketplace?
From InfoWar to Knowledge Warfare: Preparing for the Paradigm Shift is about commercial information warfare, and tells why some companies win and others lose. The information infrastructures of France and the U.S. are contrasted. This essay is about destabilization caused by InfoWar attacks and Professor Philippe Baumard provides real-world experiences to support his theories and recommendations for the paradigm shift from InfoWar to Knowledge Warfare. The author contends that information is not knowledge; that we must understand the difference between 'knowledge' (a commodity) and 'knowing' (our sense-making skills); and he urges creation of a "knowledge infrastructure"--a communal where demands and supplies of tangibles and intangibles would find their matches.
Part Three--Organizing for Cyberwar Entrepreneurs and warriors face the same problems in applying information systems to any enterprise. This essay is about the design of resilent systems--military and business--that can function under uncertainty, be that from human error, system failure, or malicious attack. The shift from industrial warfare to information-based warfare has brought unrecognized dependencies and risks that are not understood and, therefore, not well managed. But, they could be says Ronald Knecht in Thoughts About Information Warfare. He explains the profound but unrecognized impact upon any enterprise when the computer is introduced into the normal business model, opening that enterprise to interference, and surrendering configuration control to outsiders. A list of defensive and offensive tools and strategies is provided and assessed.
Information Warfare is an appeal to think more broadly about the implications of information warfare, by going beyond the narrow definition of C2W adopted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Professor George Stein writes about a new strategic level of warfare made possible by new technologies and their use to manipulate reality, rather than simply multiplying the power of conventional armed forces in combat. This essay describes the potential for altering reality with a "fictive" universe of altered data: replacing the opponents "known" universe with an "alternative reality." This essay is about defining and developing a strategy for information warfare, against new and dangerous non-state players in cyberspace who can wage attacks on a global basis.
Strategic Information Warfare and Comprehensive Situational Awareness also questions the wisdom and utility of the JCS decision to adopt C2W as the military component of information warfare. Professor Daniel Kuehl contends that information warfare must reach out to encompass national-level political, economic, military and social systems--including diplomatic and economic actions--by destructive or non-lethal military operations. He argues that the narrow definition precludes discussion of the legal, political and interagency issues that are a part of a strategic perspective. A notional target set is postulated for strategic information warfare.
The Information Warfare Campaign provides a concept for planning an information war with a mix of sensors, targets, communications and weapons that are widely distributed, owned by many, and operated by all military services. Commander Mike Loescher asks how diverse assets--many of which are neither owned nor operated by the commander, nor even in-area--can be employed to appear to act as an effective force? He describes the concept of three grids--sensor, communications, weapons--operating across air, land, sea and space, that allow the commander to assign the right mix of resources to the tactical situation.
In SOFTWAR, TV reporter Chuck de Caro describes in chilling detail how global television has been used to shape a nation's will, and how vulnerable and defenseless the U.S. is to this new form of information warfare. He describes exactly how the medium of television--which defines events by viewer perception of images and sound, rather than reality--has been used to influence public thinking and behavior. This essay explains how, by instantly creating domestic political pressures, an opponent could preclude our political leadership from acting, thus freezing the U.S. military and rendering policy and military capabilities ineffectual. "Hatred had to be created artificially [to fan the fires of pan-Serbiasm] and the key instrument was television." The author believes that the U.S. has ignored the use of TV to positively influence the course of human events around the globe.
Part Four--Warfare in the Information Age Information Warfare: The Future is about the cooperation, rather than confrontation and "brute force," as an agent of change in the world of interconnected systems; and how, in the process, we can redefine our notions of security. John Petersen describes himself as a "futurist" and his essay portrays a world where systems must "cooperate" rather than "compete;" where the contest over information is not a "zero-sum" game; and, where our industrial-age experiences and tools will not be effective. It is a world where ideas, messages, and admonitions are focused on individuals and groups, who never figure out that they have been soldiers in a battle: unwitting "victims" of subliminal communications. He asks how one can plan for change when "everything is connected to everything else," and all systems are "out of control?" He says that the process of getting all of the parts of a complex system to work together requires communications--knowledge must be shared--with little concern over cultural or political boundaries.
Information warfare is a revolutionary strategy that can strengthen our national security apparatus by enhancing the effectiveness of our military forces. But the rush to a new form of conflict is risky because it rests on new, poorly understood, controversial and unproved assumptions and strategies about our ability to dominate the information spectrum. Rush to Information-Based Warfare Gambles with National Security describes a quest for a strategy that is impeded by the lack of historical precedent, common definitions, doctrine, guiding principles, and a national-level policy to integrate and synchronize military initiatives with complementary actions of non-defense activities. This essay contrasts IW with "resource-based warfare"--a proven strategy that made minimal demands on national intellect or foresight, and was forgiving of an apathetic public and procrastinating political leaders--for one which depends on the agility and decisive firepower of a smaller force that has been empowered and effectively enlarged through superior knowledge.
A Theory of Information Warfare: Preparing for 2020, is about epistemological warfare and and the moral and ethical risks of this form on conflict directed, not necessarily against military forces, but against the adversary's knowledge and belief systems. Richard Szafranski argues that the adversary is subdued by IW when he behaves in ways that are coincident with the ways in which we intend for him to behave. This essay describes IW at the operational and the strategic levels, and suggests that the Congress may conclude that employment at the operational level is useful and necessary, but employment against noncombatants, or their employment at the strategic level is wrong. The essay examines the ethical, moral and legal aspects of conflict that cannot discriminate between combatants and noncombatants, and where the interposition of a false reality ultimately may be wrongful and inhumane.
Ethical Conundra of Information Warfare. With every grisly detail of our military activities covered by television, and viewed by the family over the dinner hour, the U.S. seeks tools and methods for a "clean war," and it has invented a host of "non-lethal" techniques, among which is Information Warfare. But, Winn Schwartau asks, is IW really non-lethal--disrupting a nations power, transportation and banking system, for example--if these might violate the political, social and ethical consciences of our own nation, as well as our friends. He believes the U.S. should face the ethical consequences of this form of conflict now, and announce to the world our intentions on how we will fight and defend ourselves in the Information Age. This essay presents several hypothetical scenarios for the employment of Information Warfare, and invites the reader to contemplate the ethical issues.
Coming to Terms With Information Warfare, by Alan Campen is an essay about the varying and often contradictory interpretations of the meaning, intent and weapons, targets, and tactics of Information Warfare. It also discusses the assumptions, uncertainties and risks to ourselves--as the most dependent of nations upon vulnerable information systems--if we employ some of these tools and methods in ways that have no doctrinal, ethical, legal, or moral precedents. The varying terms are explained and the underlying assumptions of each tested for dependencies and vulnerabilities. The essay provides a simple test to determine the meaning and implications of the often-conflicting terminology, and provides conclusions and recommendations.
While the public ponders the unsettling questions about vulnerabilities to the nation's information infrastructure, a little-known agency--born in response to earlier concerns about the health of the nations communications structure--has quietly moved to address the multiple challenges of deregulation of the telecommunications industry, and the nations growing dependence upon a vulnerable Public Network. Information Assurance: Implications to National Security and Emergency Preparedness, by James Kerr of the National Communications System staff, describes the work underway, in cooperation with industry, to assess this nations dependencies upon "information assurance," and the actions needed to deter, prevent, or mitigate attacks on the public network. This essay reports on the conclusions of several recent assessments of security weaknesses in the public network, and on changes in the FY1996 National Defense Authorization Act, calling for a national policy and an architecture for an indications and warning center to detect attacks on the National Information Infrastructure.
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