Tuesday, 25 August 2009

US military Cyber Force Activated

Register article

The US air force held an activation ceremony in Texas yesterday for its new cyberspace combat unit, the 24th Air Force, which will "provide combat-ready forces trained and equipped to conduct sustained cyber operations".

The 24th will be commanded by former Minuteman missile and satellite-jamming specialist Major-General Richard Webber. Under his command are two cyber "wings", the 688th Information Operations Wing and the 67th Network Warfare Wing, plus combat communications units.

Ces Moore and I have been writing a bit about cyber-warfare of late, and I'll be doing more of it to cover the securing virtual spaces theme of the Space and Culture special issue. I don't actually like the term 'cyber-warfare' as it sounds like something Tom Clancy made up.

We had a look at Russian information operations and network warfare in relation to their operations in Chechnya for a contribution to a forthcoming book edited by Asaf Siniver here at UoB. It's a tricky field to get a handle on, given a lot of it is fairly arcane and deliberately hidden. That said, there are some contributions to political science and IR (especially security studies) that can be drawn out of it. In that article, we basically wanted to highlight the use of information warfare techniques as part of a counter-insurgency campaign against groups that were themselves fairly technically literate, and the combination of information attacks with physical attacks of the traditional lethal type.

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