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[ISN] Threatened Pentagon programs will play up cyber roles, experts predict



http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20120208_5377.php

By Aliya Sternstein
Nextgov
02/08/2012

Military program managers whose operations are vaguely associated with computer networks could reposition their programs as being critical to cybersecurity to tap into one of the few untouched defense accounts and boost their own funding odds, some budget experts predict.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in January rewrote the nation's military strategy to, in part, increase spending on cyberspace operations and cut back on ground troops. Panetta repeatedly has said "the next Pearl Harbor" could be a cyberattack that turns off electricity, financial transactions and government services. At a defense funding briefing, researchers from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments said they expect U.S. forces will have difficulty determining how much to spend on cyberspace and what exactly to spend it on because of the amorphous nature of the domain.

The challenge is reminiscent of the emergence of the Global Information Grid, or GIG, last decade, when military officials struggled to determine which activities supporting the U.S. warfighting data network should be considered part of the program, said Todd Harrison, a budget studies analyst at the center.

"Basically anything connected to any network was all part of the GIG," including the power and water infrastructure, "so a toilet overflowing somewhere can affect the GIG," he said.

[...]


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