21 January 2017

Asymmetric Advantage: Dawn Across Arlington...

One only has to stand behind the "Tomb of the Unknowns" and gaze across the national mall past the Washington Monument to begin to feel the magnitude of the challenges ahead.  As the wind swirls around the grave markers and the sound of sirens and jets are distantly present, you can feel an emotional wave of inspiration.

Today in Washington, D.C., the dawn of a new government administration is waking up and the rest of the world is waiting.  How will the asymmetric problems we face be solved faster?  Why does the decision to use "Solution X" make sense over "Solution Y", to address our nations adaptive Operational Risks?

Why would a U.S. citizen feel inspired this day and from this vantage point in Arlington?  It is because the future will bring new conflicts that are different than years past.  It will bring new opportunities for us to excel.  Every decade that wars occur, there are far less warfighters actually put into harms way.  The number of casualties slows.  Why?

The reason is that the kinetic types of wars are using new inventions and technologies to save lives.  Whether it is MWRAP's or tourniquets built into uniforms, or sophisticated "Geospatial Intelligence", the goal is to keep our warfighters safe and alive.

Now also in parallel, the conflicts are being waged 24 x 7 x 365 in another growing operational domain, where the IO Analyst is navigating electronic networks and complex lines of software code.  Information Operations are full of new challenges and substantial learning curves in order to gain the advantage.

Welcome to the #Virtual Caliphate:
Decades of border disputes, violent conflict, and shifting refugee populations have left millions of Muslims without a clear national identity. ISIL’s virtual caliphate offers them citizenship free from terrestrial constraints, which can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
How the United States responds to this threat of a growing set of virtually-inspired terrorists, who carry out their physical acts in the homeland, remains a substantial problem-set.  What else is in store for our Homeland?

"The U.S. is considered a high-priority intelligence target by many foreign intelligence entities. While traditionally the threat has been to our political, military, and diplomatic interests at home and abroad, the loss of sensitive economic information and technology is a growing threat to our national security. In recent years, economic espionage conducted by foreign intelligence entities, corrupt insiders, and corporate competitors has exploited vulnerabilities in cyberspace that may weaken our economic advantage. Cyber espionage has not replaced traditional espionage as a way to steal secrets, but the ability to focus technology on lesser protected information is a significant and growing threat." DNI.gov Domestic Approach to National Intelligence

The rules will be changing soon.  The tools will be too powerful and the threats too great, for the military to have their hands tied or their legal authorities limited.  The next generation of domestic cyber warfighters will now go into action, side-by-side from CyberCom, Homeland Security, FBI, CIA and a new coalition of advanced private sector contractors.  They will work across the Homeland from SCIFs in every state, with a new enhanced mission and a new unified command.

How will this save lives and give all of our warfighters what they need?

As the billion dollar budgets within the Pentagon shift their focus to platforms such as DIUx, or IARPA, innovative answers will be more apparent.  The growing solutions pipeline will become the basis for rapid deployment to our Operators.  The new Corps of men and women raising their hands from classrooms across the Homeland, will become exponential...they will serve in new roles and in new ways.

The future is bright and the changing of the guard at the "Tomb of the Unknowns", will soon see fewer ceremonies to bury our heroes or even hang another star on a wall in Langley...

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