Cyber initiatives can result in 'changed behavior'

Gen. C. Robert Kehler, commander of Air Force Space
Command, tells an audience at the Air Force Information Technology
Conference that success in cyberspace is crucial, since it is a precondition
to success in all other domains: space, air, land and sea. Air Force Space
Command recently acquired the 24th Air Force, which is dedicated to the Air
Force's mission in cyberspace. The general spoke Aug. 25, in Montgomery,
Ala.

Gen. C. Robert Kehler, commander of Air Force Space Command, tells an audience at the Air Force Information Technology Conference that success in cyberspace is crucial, since it is a precondition to success in all other domains: space, air, land and sea. Air Force Space Command recently acquired the 24th Air Force, which is dedicated to the Air Force's mission in cyberspace. The general spoke Aug. 25, in Montgomery, Ala.

Lt. Gen. William Lord, Chief of Warfighting Integration
and the Secretary of the Air Force's Chief Information Officer, speaks to
attendees at the Air Force Information Technology Conference in Montgomery,
Ala., Aug. 26. General Lord's remarks focused on the ramifications cyber
initiatives can have in warfare. The conference, in its 26th year, attracted
more than 5,000 attendees from across the information technology industry,
the military and government.

Lt. Gen. William Lord, Chief of Warfighting Integration and the Secretary of the Air Force's Chief Information Officer, speaks to attendees at the Air Force Information Technology Conference in Montgomery, Ala., Aug. 26. General Lord's remarks focused on the ramifications cyber initiatives can have in warfare. The conference, in its 26th year, attracted more than 5,000 attendees from across the information technology industry, the military and government.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Cyberspace initiatives can have significant, even physical ramifications, Lt. Gen. William Lord, Chief of Warfighting Integration and the Secretary of the Air Force's Chief Information Officer, told attendees at the Air Force Information Technology Conference in Montgomery, Ala., Aug. 26.

Warfare is not only about "destruction of an enemy," but is really about changing behavior. Non-kinetic initiatives, like those in cyberspace, can have major implications.

But he sees some roadblocks in the way of flexible, coherent, cyber endeavors in the information technology management for which he is responsible. "Too much policy stifles innovation," he said.

The general advocated policy that is "agnostic of the technology," less focused on details that can change quickly and more focused on broad parameters and guidelines.

General Lord related how his staff handed him over 100 different documents, policy for which he was responsible, upon his arrival at his current position. His first act, he joked, was to delete a policy over 15 years old. "Your job is to figure out which one it was," he told attendees. The general's goal is to reduce the bulk of policy under his purview by 75 percent, resulting in more concise governance for Airmen.

"We want our Airmen to be successful, and permit innovation, in the cyber domain," he said later.

Archaic, disparate policies governing cyberspace are not the way into the future, General Lord indicated. Instead, information technology capabilities should be able to be adapted more freely to a broad array of scenarios.

In addition to a shift in policy, the Air Force's culture surrounding cyberspace must also change, according to Gen. C. Robert Kehler, the commander of Air Force Space Command, who spoke to attendees the previous day.

Disconnecting military networks is not the answer to defending and succeeding in cyberspace, he said. "Where else in our military do we just 'go home?'"

Air Force Space Command recently acquired a new numbered Air Force dedicated to cyberspace, the 24th, which was activated exactly a week before the general made his speech here.

"We need to change our culture, we need to change our conduct and we need to change our capabilities, in order to better operate and defend in and through cyberspace," General Kehler said.

Success in cyberspace is crucial, he said, because it is a precondition to success in all other domains: space, air, land and sea.

(Jessica Casserly contributed to this article.)