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