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Lani almost sounds like she's an American...

The current emphasis is on intelligence gathering and defending U.S. electronic security, but some officials think the military should know how to attack other nations' computer systems.

By Julian E. Barnes, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 8, 2008

WASHINGTON -- Igniting a provocative new debate, senior military officials are pushing the Pentagon to go on the offensive in cyberspace by developing the ability to attack other nations' computer systems, rather than concentrating on defending America's electronic security.

Under the most sweeping proposals, military experts would acquire the know-how to commandeer the unmanned aerial drones of adversaries, disable enemy warplanes in mid-flight and cut off electricity at precise moments to strategic locations, such as military installations, while sparing humanitarian facilities, such as hospitals.

An expansion of offensive capabilities in cyberspace would represent an important change for the military. For years, U.S. officials have been reluctant to militarize what is widely seen as a medium for commerce and communication -- much like space.

But a new National Military Strategy for Cyberspace Operations, declassified earlier this year, fueled the Pentagon debate and gave the military a green light to push for expanded capabilities.

The monthslong debate took on added urgency after the electronic attacks that coincided with the Russian military's early August push into Georgia and reflects a newfound uncertainty over the state of global cyber-warfare capabilities.

Military officials have not concluded whether the electronic network attacks in Georgia were coordinated by Moscow or were the work of freelance hackers or paramilitary groups. Still, the use of cyberspace by Russia and other countries is drawing intense scrutiny by the Pentagon.

"As we go forward in time, cyber is going to be a very important part of our war-fighting tactics, techniques and procedures," said Michael W. Wynne, a former Air Force secretary.

Under Wynne, the Air Force established a provisional Cyber Command in 2007 and made operating in the cyber domain part of its mission statement, on par with air operations. Wynne clashed with superiors over the Air Force approach to cyberspace and other issues and was fired in June after breakdowns in U.S. nuclear weapons security procedures. New Air Force leaders now are reassessing plans for a permanent Cyber Command, which under Wynne's leadership would have included some offensive capabilities.

Most other U.S. efforts focus on defending military and government networks and mining international systems for intelligence. Both the Army and Navy have long-standing operations but primarily focus on intelligence gathering. The Army, in particular, has used a variety of electronic networks to gather intelligence on insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The most advanced expertise on operating in cyberspace is held by the National Security Agency, the Defense Department intelligence arm that monitors foreign phone calls, e-mails and other communication. A senior defense official said the NSA "is where the mother lode of expertise is. Those are the folks that have been looking at the capability for the longest period of time."

Overseeing all of these various military efforts in cyberspace is the Defense Department's Strategic Command, which is primarily responsible for the nation's nuclear arsenal.

Several senior Pentagon officials would discuss the Defense Department's cyberspace work only if their names were withheld because of sensitive intelligence issues. But officials involved in the cyberspace debate are sparring over not only what to do but who within the military should do it.

Because of the difficulty of training cyber-warriors and the need to closely monitor their work long term, many top Pentagon officials believe that the most advanced cyber-experts should remain at the NSA.

A senior Pentagon official said that "exploiting" computer networks to gather intelligence is currently the most important use of cyber-power. "Clearly, the exploitation activities have been preeminent," the official said.

But citing Russia's use of cyberspace, some current and former officials believe that the U.S. military services, if allowed, could move beyond intelligence gathering and develop a broad array of offensive capabilities that would fit well with conventional combat.

"Let's not mistake intelligence collection with military operations," said Lani Kass, a senior Air Force official and former director of the service's Cyberspace Task Force. "The mission of the NSA is to collect signals intelligence, and it is very good at it. But the NSA is not a war-fighting organization."

If the military is allowed to develop more advanced cyber-warfare methods, the United States would be able to routinely launch an airstrike at a target and simultaneously use an electronic attack to disable defenses or spread disinformation, said Wynne, the former Air Force secretary.

"It isn't just about protecting your networks," Wynne said. "It is about having a soldier with an invasive tool he can fire at an antenna, and put some information into it, and from there do some damage."

While declining to specify every cyberspace activity they might want to develop, military officials emphasized that all such efforts would be governed by the laws of war and international treaties.

Other senior officials are skeptical of what they see as "Buck Rogers" scenarios and argue that defending U.S. computer systems is more urgent. The Pentagon is probed every day by hackers and would-be cyber-intruders, making protection of military networks the top priority, said the senior defense official.

More importantly, potential U.S. adversaries are unlikely to depend on electronic networks as much as the Pentagon does, the official said. That means defending U.S. capabilities is more vital than disrupting enemy capabilities.

"The United States, more than any other military, is a Net-centric operation," the senior official said. "Any adversary we would tend to go after -- anyone we can currently foresee -- wouldn't use it to the same extent. Therefore, defending that capability and making sure it is not denied to you -- that has to be critical."

To some, the tension over cyberspace echoes military debates through the centuries. Maj. Gen. William T. Lord, head of the Air Force cyber-effort, said that such discussions were akin to an old military puzzle known as "intelligence gain-loss."

"Do you not destroy a target because you can exploit it? Or do you destroy the target -- and lose the ability to exploit -- because troops are in harm's way?" Lord said. "That is not a debate. It is a discussion that goes on in war fighting."

Wynne agrees that there will always be such arguments. But unless the military services are given the resources to develop strong offensive capabilities, top officials will not have the option of using them, he said.

"This is all about preparedness and making sure the U.S. military is awake and alert," Wynne said. "And I say: Make sure we can do it to them before they can do it to us."

General / Re: Refugees.
« on: September 16, 2008, 04:40:14 AM »
*the person finally got sick and tired and just threw the OFF switch.*

Yeah, sure they did Spock.

Bibi Netanyahu called Tenenbaum "damn good" after learning of his deeds. But added that he was also "very dangerous, too."

Where have we heard this before?

2008 / Re: U.S. to sell Israel Air Force new bunker-buster bombs
« on: September 15, 2008, 03:36:35 AM »
*U.S. nixed Israel's request for bunker-busters*

That seems to have changed...that piece is from 14 Aug.  The Ha'aretz piece was from yesterday.

Officially, this is all just hi-jinx to FBI upper echelon...agents on the street shake their heads just know they've still got a good retirement plan.

Tzachi Segal, who heads the computer crime department

Probably the largest and most corrupt division on the force...

Arts, Entertainment & Sports / Re: LibertyForum Status, Developing ...
« on: September 14, 2008, 04:37:10 PM »
Hi Sue... You too !

2008 / U.S. to sell Israel Air Force new bunker-buster bombs
« on: September 14, 2008, 04:12:11 AM »
Despite reservations in Washington regarding a possible Israeli strike on Iran, the American administration will supply Israel with sophisticated weapons for heavily fortified targets, the U.S. administration announced.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced it would sell the Israel Air Force 1,000 new smart bombs, rumored to significantly enhance the IAF's military capabilities. The deal was approved amid public and secret messages from Washington, with the Americans expressing their reservations about a possible Israeli strike against the Islamic Republic's suspected nuclear sites.

The Pentagon's announcement, which came on Friday, said the U.S. will provide Israel with 1,000 units of Guided Bomb Unit-39 (GBU-39) - a special weapon developed for penetrating fortified facilities located deep underground.    

The $77 million shipment, which includes launchers and appurtenances, will allow the IAF to hit many more bunkers than currently possible. Although each bomb weighs 113 kilograms, its penetration capabilities equal those of a one ton bomb, according to professional literature.

Most U.S. Air Force aircraft are able to carry a pack of four of these bombs in place of a single one-ton bomb. The bomb's small size allows a single-strike aircraft to carry more of the munitions than is possible utilizing currently available bomb units, thus increasing firepower, or, alternatively, allowing the aircraft to fly longer distances to deliver a single bomb.

During demonstrations, the GBU-39 - labeled by the manufacturer, Boeing, as a Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) - has successfully penetrated more than 1.8 meters of thick reinforced concrete with a 23-kilogram warhead. The GPS-guided weapon is said to have a 50-percent probability of hitting its intended target within 5-8 meters, which should minimize collateral damage.

The estimated value for the bomb's GPS version, which military experts have called the latest development in the bunker-buster line, is around $70,000 to $90,000 for each individual bomb.

The U.S. has already supplied Israel with earlier versions of bunker busters. In 2005, the Pentagon authorized the sale of GBU-28 to Israel, in a move that commentators construed as a hinted threat aimed at Iran. Haaretz reported earlier this month that the U.S. was hesitant about selling Israel heavier busters.

The Pentagon's announcement also said that the U.S. would help upgrade the Israel Defense Forces' patriot anti-aircraft missiles - which Israel uses as part of its missile-interception array. Israel will also receive 28,000 LAW (Light Anti-Tank Weapon) tube launchers for land forces.

Samuel and Sarah... ???

I'd go with the Lithuanian bio...

The World Below / Re: Swing-State newspapers distribute 'terror' videos
« on: September 13, 2008, 01:17:54 PM »
Jews always push too far...but this time it for all the Bolshie marbles.

*Gov. Palin has to make the haj to Vad Yashem and pray to the eternal flame for the 6 million.*

Governor Palin “proudly displays” an Israeli flag in her gubernatorial office and for a very good reason.

Her maternal grandfather, Schmuel Sheigam, was a Lithuanian Jew, born in 1912 in Vilkaviskis, Lithuania, 91.2 miles west of Vilnius. The Sheigam family immigrated to America, via Hamburg, Germany in 1915 because of WWI.At Ellis Island Immigration Centre, the name was entered as Sheeran, a standard practice of the time when immigration officers were unable to understand the pronunciation of non-English speaking immigrants. Sheeran is a common Irish name but members of the Sheigam family are buried in the Jewish cemetery at Budezeriai near Vilkaviskis:in Lithuania

Further information on Governor Palin’s ancestors can easily be found in the vital records in the Lithuanian State Historical Archives in Vilnius. The Archives holds birth, marriage, divorce, and death records for the Lithuanian Jewish community from 1851 until 1915 when the Jews were required to leave the country because of World War I. They are in 18th Century Cyrillic script and Yiddish Many of these records include the mother's maiden name and town of registration.

Arts, Entertainment & Sports / Re: LibertyForum Status, Developing ...
« on: September 13, 2008, 01:01:45 PM »
*Not sure? I think it was down for a couple of weeks once.*

Didn't Daisy let on that something would happen to LF on such and such a day a few weeks ago?

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