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FCW : June 15, 2015
16 June 15, 2015 FCW.COM Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon goes about his work as head of Army Cyber Command with the subdued intensity of some- one who knows he will be at it awhile. The soft-spoken Californian is trying to build a cyber workforce, and he is clear about where that effort is falling short. Some private-sector IT special- ists want to “come work for us for a year or two, but they don’t want to... be there for 20, and we don’t have a mechanism to really do that,” Cardon said in a recent interview at the com- mand’s offices in Fort Belvoir, Va. Cardon is part of a generation of military officers whose job is to draw clearer lines around the Defense Department’s role in cyberspace. Those commanders typically have a blend of battlefield and systems man- agement experience, but rarely are they IT experts. They help shape doc- trine and give orders, while the “cyber warriors” in control rooms around the country and the world conduct net- work defense and potential hacking of adversaries. Since the American military declared cyberspace an operational domain in 2011, it has not been a question of if but how the Pentagon will organize its capabilities. There has been no shortage of ideas inside and outside the Pentagon for how to better use people in the nation’s cyber defense. Cardon in particular has been outspoken on the subject. At a February cybersecurity con- ference in Washington, he said that, given the diffuse nature of digital net- works, “command” might not be the right word for organizing cyberspace. Instead, “maybe it’s the way that we organize against very specific mis- sions,” he said. Those missions then become opportunities for leadership, and recruiters find the “skills and attri- butes that we need to be able to do that.” In other words, Cardon is interest- ed in creating teams that, contrary to centuries-old notions of chain of com- mand, are driven by specialized skill- sets rather than hierarchy. Although “command” is still the operative word for his perch, Cardon’s thinking on the issue points to a less hierarchical approach to cyberspace. He was a brigadier general in Iraq during the 2007 surge that pushed the number of U.S. troops there to about 170,000, and he wants to apply that experience to cyberspace. The quest for command and control in the online arena BY SEAN LYNGAAS 0615fcw_016-018.indd 16 5/27/15 2:31 PM
May 30, 2015
June 30, 2015