While pundits and blogs have been buzzing about the direction the Navy should take in cyber operations, the Chief of Naval Operations strategically realigned Navy missions and organizations to achieve information dominance. This issue explores the CNO's vision in a series of interviews with several of the Navy's top leaders in this emerging warfare domain.
Acting on the CNO's cyber mandates, the Navy is now positioned "at or near the front of the pack" to assist U.S. Cyber Command when it is established, said Vice Adm. Barry McCullough, commander of FLTCYBERCOM/10th Fleet.
There is an ongoing international cyber discussion as well. Adm. James Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander Europe and commander for U.S. European Command, calls this domain the "Cyber Sea" — a largely complex and ungoverned environment that can be used for "strategic connection" for good but too often is used by "bad actors," ruthless predators and rogue nation-states for espionage and other malicious purposes. The admiral envisions global cooperation and agreed-upon rules and standards, similar to the Law of the Sea Treaty, to chart the course in navigating the Cyber Sea.
At the same time, Stavridis is an indefatigable social media user because of its power to reach out to many people, not only to inform them, but to bring them together to work on the issues facing the global community.
I hope this information dominance/cyber issue will spark debate and discussion with your colleagues and in the larger Defense Department community. The departments of the Navy and Defense must work collaboratively with public, private and international entities to secure cyberspace and America's cyber assets. In fact, national security leaders are counting on your ideas and help to preserve "America's digital infrastructure — the backbone that underpins a prosperous economy and a strong military and an open and efficient government," the president said in May 2009.
In February, the CHIPS staff participated in the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command booth at West 2010, cosponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute. SPAWAR leadership and subject matter experts played a leading role in panel discussions throughout the West conference, as well as the DON Information Technology Conference, which was held at the same time and location as the West conference.
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