The U.S. Needs a Cyber Force More Than a Space Force

Started by the-pi-guy, Aug 14, 2018, 04:44 PM

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Sadly, the proposal for a new U.S. Space Force is has become a punchline on late-night TV. It is being battered as a needless new bureaucracy, a competitor for the private sector, and an idea that will lead to a vicious militarization of space. None of these arguments is correct.
The idea of a space force -- a new service branch like the Army or Navy, not merely a combatant command -- has been around for decades, but the entrenched military services have vigorously fought it. Each has some space expertise, and likes having some level of control over "its" space assets. But the Air Force has the most to lose in terms of bureaucratic resources, and it has been predictably the most resistant to the concept.

This is ironic: In the mid-20th century, the Army and the Navy fought tooth and nail to prevent the creation of … the Air Force.
Still, as important as a space force is, there is a greater necessity for focus on different unique zone of operations: cyberspace. Military activity in the cyber realm is currently a pick-up game, with each of the services offering a small cadre of cyber warriors on a temporary basis to the Pentagon's newest combatant command, U.S. Cyber Command. Its leader, General Paul Nakasone, and his predecessors have done a good job of marshalling these individual service contributions, but it is a cumbersome process and those assigned to the command usually return to their parent service after their tour of duty at the National Security Agency headquarters in Maryland.

Not only do the same arguments for a space force apply in cyber, but the threats we face there are currently larger. The digital world is already highly militarized; the size of a cyber force would be tiny compared to the vast bureaucracies of the Army, Navy and Air Force; and the individual armed forces do not have adequate incentives to pay attention to the job -- they are very busy training, equipping and organizing their force to do the traditional warfighting tasks in the land, sea and air.


Thought this would be an interesting conversation as a hypothetical that it deserved a thread.


Cyber force seems odd. It's really important that we keep everything protected, but why would that be a military branch?