February 14, 2008

Geek Warriers in Loose Nukes Country

It is so interesting that Barksdale was the destination on Aug. 29 when six (6) nuclear warheads went on an unauthorized joy ride from Minot Airforce Base in North Dakota to this Barksdale base in Louisiana. Only five (5) arrived. What makes them think they can manage electromagnetic war any better? See previous posts for more links: November 1, 2007 Loose Nukes Cover Up , and October 21, 2007 Bent and Quivering Pinnacle
Welcome to Cyberwar Country, USA
[...] [William] Lord, boyish and enthusiastic, is a new kind of Air Force warrior -- the provisional chief of the service's first new major command since the early 1990s, the Cyber Command. With thousands of posts and enough bandwidth to choke a horse, the Cyber Command is dedicated to the proposition that the next war will be fought in the electromagnetic spectrum, and that computers are military weapons. In a windowless building across the base, Lord's cyber warriors are already perched 24 hours a day before banks of monitors, scanning Air Force networks for signs of hostile incursion.
[...] The Cyber Command was provisionally established on Barksdale's 22,000 acres in October, at the edge of a black lake stitched with swamp trees that narrow just above the water line. The placement was good news for Bossier, which took it as a sign that Louisiana would win the permanent command, too.
[...] To persuade the Air Force of Bossier's potential as a Deep South Silicon Valley, city officials broke ground last month on a "Cyber Innovation Center," a $100 million office complex abutting Barksdale. The consortium paid $4.7 million for a 64-acre parcel, and they've raised $50 million from state and local government and another $50 million from the federal government for a complex of buildings, starting with an $11 million, 120,000-square-foot cyberfortress. Renderings show a moat [to stop cyber wars?] and huge, silvery wedges of metal jutting outward from the building's base. There's a jet in the design, pointed toward the sky.
[...] Not everyone is enthusiastic about the reorganization. Defense expert John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, says the Cyber Command's mission is murky. "There's been so much gee-whiz flackery to this," Pike says. "They've got the whole thing tarted up, and it's hard to tell what they're actually doing."
Pike says the Cyber Command may be part of a secret Air Force plan to prepare for war against China, already suspected of trying to hack Department of Defense networks. He says the new command's defensive mission is muddled and duplicative: The NSA already defends military networks. As for civilian infrastructures like the internet and power grid, they're privately owned, and the Air Force has no jurisdiction over them.
[...] Inside the Air Force Network Operations Center at Barksdale, a tan, windowless building in the northwest corner of the base, the cyberwar is in full pitch. But the internet jihadists and Chinese hacker troops the Cyber Command is expecting so far haven't materialized. Spammers are the enemy today.

Previous posts on this subject appear here:
November 6, 2007: Disappearing Nuclear Reactor! ; November 3, 2007: Only the Traitors Know , Who's Bombing Who?; November 1, 2007: Loose Nukes Cover Up ; October 21, 2007: Bent and Quivering Pinnacle , Betty Crocker Blue Ribbon Panel to Tests Nukes; October 10, 2007: The Loose Nukes Story Has a New Wrinkle ; September 13, 2007: This was No Accident: Nuclear Weapons are Different

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