Just What Do You Think You're Doing, Dave?

Cyber Command, the Air Force's confused and confusing program to "control cyberspace" has been unplugged. And unlike with HAL 9000, someone had the foresight to take action well before things got out of hand.

Noah Shachtman at Wired's outstanding Danger Room blog has the scoop on the aborted launch of Air Force online dominance:

But even if everything all was calm at the Air Force, Cyber Command's path was far from clear. At a June conference , the command's emerging leaders couldn't agree on what exactly the new unit would do. Some said the command's mission would be the  "protection and defense of the Air Force's command and control abilities." Others argued that the "mission is to control cyberspace both for attacks and defense." (The service even changed its mission statement to read, "As Airmen, it is our calling to dominate Air, Space, and Cyberspace.") Some believed the Cyber Command would only be responsible for computer networks. Others thought it'd be responsible for every system that had anything to do with the electromagnetic spectrum -- up to and including laser weapons. 

Too bad about the cool-looking Cyber Innovation Center, though, which was going to erected in that hotbed of technological development, Bossier City, Louisiana.

Back in February, I chronicled Cyber Command's ham-handed advertising techniques and expressed skepticism about all ventures involving the word "cyber" here.

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  • SIV||

    They are surely crying in the Capital of the Ark-La-Tex, Shreveport/Bossier City.

  • Taktix®||

    "As Airmen, it is our calling to dominate Air, Space, and Cyberspace."

    I'm still convinced that Cyber Command was the result of some Create-Your-Own New Program office contest at the Pentagon.

    Either that or someone with too much budget room (arguably everyone in government) watched Transformers and thought it was a documentary.

  • Nigel Watt||

    Good, that was kinda freaky.

  • ||

    Sadly the Chinese have been waging war via computer proxie against us for years now. They are probably responsible for two major black outs.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/cs_20080531_6948.php

    They are constantly attacking military and govenrment computer systems. The fact that this effort has apparently failed is not good news and certainly not worthy of Howley snark.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    I'll bet those "airmen" (and airbabes too, I suppose) are all busted up about not being deployed in Bossier City. Imagine being stuck in Colorado Springs in August when you could be cozy 'n warm in Bossier!

    I'd like to think that the cyber project is simply being taken underground, where research on, I don't know, maybe cyber-sabers, can be carried on without interference from wiseacres like Katie M-W. How about an x-ray saber, or a gamma ray saber, which would be, you know, invisible, but extra pointy.

  • ||

    Make that Mangu Ward snark. My mistake.

  • ||

    He taught me to sing a song... it goes like this...
    Daisy, Daisy,
    give me

    your

    aannnssswerrrrrr


    doooooooooo....

  • ||

    I picturing the Lord Viper Scorpion character from Stewart's first years on the Daily Show...

  • ||

    "Terrorists have attacked our imaginations!"

  • ||

    """"As Airmen, it is our calling to dominate Air, Space, and Cyberspace.""""

    Sounds like a public statment regarding our intent to militarize space.

  • Episiarch||

    "mission is to control cyberspace both for attacks and defense."

    Right, good luck with that. That's about as realistic as having a mission to control the Milky Way.

  • ||

    All your computer belong to us!
    Especially your Cybersonic® toothbrush!

  • SIV||

    AV,

    Plenty of airmen enjoy the Summer climate of NW Louisiana at Barksdale AFB in Bossier.

    If you have never been to the Capital of the Ark-La-Tex even the chamber of commerce suggests august weather is akin to the last thing a captive lobster ever feels, only more humid.

  • BDB||

    SIV, is it worse than Houston in August?

  • SIV||

    I've never been in Houston in august
    Without checking any climate data I'd bet it is consistently hotter in Shreveport/Bossier while Houston might have a slight edge on the number of extreme humidity days.

  • ||

    SIV, is it worse than Houston in August?

    Nothing is worse than Houston in August. Nothing. You get your heat (90+), your humidity (ditto), and you get your trapped emissions.

  • Kristi Beckman||

    Djibouti, Africa is far far worse than Houston in August! Try it....:o)

  • BDB||

    Thats been my experience too, RC. Washington DC in July is a distant second though.

  • Kolohe||

    The airforce has been on quite a losing streak lately.

    Nontheless, there is an argument to be made for the DOD and/or service components to reorganize to coordinate c4i functions better. Comms/info infrastructure protection is a real concern. The problem for many years (but less so these days) is everyone developed their own systems throughout the 70's-90's. This often resulted in different systems even at the unit level so an assessment of vunerabilites and countermeasures was nigh impossible.

  • ||

    "As Airmen, it is our calling to dominate Air, Space, and Cyberspace."

    I don't think you can continue to call yourselves Airmen after you branch out into space and cyberspace. That would make you spacemen and cybermen as well.

  • ||


    John | August 14, 2008, 4:42pm | #
    Sadly the Chinese have been waging war via computer proxie against us for years now. They are probably responsible for two major black outs.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/cs_20080531_6948.php


    From the linked article:

    In comments posted on Wired magazine's Danger Room blog, which is trafficked by many techno-elites who are skeptical of the administration's more boisterous public warnings, Donahue's remarks about power plants drew support.


    From Wired's Threat Level:

    Did Hackers Cause the 2003 Northeast Blackout? Umm, No
    ...
    Now that we're seeing "overgrown trees" between the same scare quotes conspiracy theorists bracket around "lone gunman" and "moon landing," the cybarmageddon hawks have squarely set foot in the realm of 9/11 truthers. I'm waiting for them to blame Chinese hackers for "Hurricane" Katrina.


    Congrats Lawyerboi, you are now a troofer.

    They are constantly attacking military and govenrment(sic) computer systems. The fact that this effort has apparently failed is not good news and certainly not worthy of Howley snark.


    It most certainly is worthy of snark. That the Airforce thought that setting up a "Cyber Command" to protect US assets was a good idea when they can't even seem to secure their own servers was a bit far fetched, no? When the Government (Military, DHS and otherwise) has it's act together and it's networks fully secured (to the extent it is possible), then we can talk.

  • ||

    Nothing is worse than Houston in August. Nothing.

    Texas has texas sized wimps I see.
    Fairbanks in February (mean temps of -30°F) is far worse than 90°F with 90% humidity. ;-)

    The Delmarva peninsula has the most fucked up Septembers I've ever lived through including the gulf coast of Mississippi. Hot, humid and stupid people everywhere.

  • BDB||

    Hot, humid and stupid people everywhere.



    J Sub you've just given the best summary of the Virginia and Maryland Eastern Shores and Delaware south of the Canal, ever.

  • BDB||

    I'm sorry you live in Michigan. The winters there must blow big time.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    You know, I actually like the climate where I live. No humidity, plenty of sunshine, not too hot. Cool in the winter, but dry. Nice skiing. I probably shouldn't give up the secret, though.

  • ||

    John, check the leading source of that National Journal story:

    "Journal he believes that China's People's Liberation Army played a role in the power outages. Tim Bennett, the former president of the Cyber Security Industry Alliance, a leading trade group, said that U.S. intelligence officials have told him"

    He's just a salesman trying to drum up business for the industry using scare stories.

    He's about as credible as a shellfish industry spokesman trying to promote the dire threat of a crawfish gap with Vietnam, or a Microsoft spokesman claiming that every student in the country needs a laptop running Vista or the US will surely fall behind the Asian hordes.

  • ||

    "Nothing is worse than Houston in August. Nothing."

    How about Beijing on a day with 200+ micrograms per cubic meter air pollution? (WHO guidelines call for 50 per cubic meter.)

    On Aug 10th, the BBC measured it at 278 micrograms.

    Daily measurements and photos of the skyline from July 15th onward can be seen at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/7506925.stm

  • ||

    I have no problem with the Air Force having a CyberCommand as long as CyberCommand is to Command what Cybersex is to sex.

  • ||

    The inter-service rivalries, in this case mostly AF vs. Navy, continue apace. CyberCommand should be a joint command, or part of Stratcom, which is likely where it'll end up.

    gpg

  • ||

    By the way, it's Bossier City, LA

    Shreveport has long been in decline while Bossier City has continuously taken steps to improve itself as a whole.

    It used to be Shreveport...

    then Shreveport/Bossier City

    then Bossier City/Shreveport

    now it's Bossier city...

  • ||

    As someone who lived in Shreveport and Baton Rouge, the summers there are definitely better in S'port than in Baton Rouge since it's about the same temperature but A LOT less humidity (likely because you're no longer at sea level or surrounded by marsh/wetland type area).
    I'd figure Houston would be worse than S'port because that city is miles and miles and miles of heat absorbing concrete.

    In regards to the location of the command, Bossier City is the home to Barskdale Air Force Base, where a hell of a lot of the Iraqi-occupation B-52s came from, so IMAO it's not that weird to place a Command there...

  • Billy Beck||

    "Plenty of airmen enjoy the Summer climate of NW Louisiana at Barksdale AFB in Bossier."

    Dad separated out of 2nd Air Force when I was eighteen.

    That was the only place I ever lived -- to include Tripoli, Libya -- where I could work up a damned good sweat just sitting on the porch.

  • ||

    regarding "Too bad about the cool-looking Cyber Innovation Center, though, which was going to erected in that hotbed of technological development, Bossier City, Louisiana."

    The Cyber Innovation Center is going forward! There continues to be extensive demand for the high tech research park. This is good news! There will still be the cool looking building -- They just started construction. I found this @ cyberinnovationcenter(dot)org

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