U.S. Cyber Command is growing, and my take on "cyber"-anything in general


I'm sceptical about such outfits because I doubt a bureaucracy is a reasonable form of organisation for whatever mission a "cyber command" could have.

My first reaction to the quantity of '+4,000 people' was to consider it a typical Niskanen's bureaucrat; growing at every opportunity if permitted to do so, no matter useful or not. To my surprise, my quick check revealed that Kaskersky has in excess of 2,000 employees, though. 
I may have underestimated the personnel requirements of IT security (or the efficiency of Kaspersky; keep in mind their revenues are global, while their wages are in great part Russian).

Still, I will not consider calling the "U.S.Cyber Command" or anything like it a good idea until they prove themselves. So far, reports indicated that the U.S. Cyber Command learns from public sources if there's a new virus, DDOS attack etc.
A bureaucrat's reaction to a dismal performance is "we need more personnel, budget", of course.

There are actually people with yet other people's microphones in front of their mouths who claim that electronic warfare/crime through civilian infrastructures ("cyber" something) is the next big thing. I doubt this very much. It's not comparable to the advent of submarines, combat aircraft, tanks, smokeless powder, 

"Cyber" warfare/crimes are rather comparable to a high seas blockade; this stuff can create troubles which require adaptation and then one can go on despite it, with certain restrictions and disadvantages.
"Cyber" something on the battlefield should be understood in the framework of well-known electronic warfare. It's subject to intense action-adaptation spirals and any new smart approaches such as infusing malware to read or remote control hostiles' hardware are going to be much, much more difficult in the civilian arena because of much more limited knowledge about the hard- and software involved (excluding very old or export hardware)

S Ortmann


  1. This looks to be more bureaucratic empire building than effective defense.

    The bulk of the "cyber" problem is crime and espionage, much of which is better served by services other than the military.

    Dealing with cyber threats looks like the new perfect funding blackhole, given that bureaucrats, politicians and the general public misunderstand what it is, having only seen the media's hyperbolic and dramatised representations of cyber conflict. As funds are removed from the war on terror, cyber war looks to be their new home.

  2. Maybe they do have use for all those people, they have a mission critical irc network to protect: http://publicintelligence.net/tactical-chat/