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Landmark Speech by Gen. Schwartz

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz delivered an hour-long address to the Air Force Association today that will probably be remembered as a landmark in the remaking of the service.

The most enduring comments for the service will probably be those addressing the issue of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in which Schwartz called for a shift from the fighter pilot-centric service to one that treats unmanned aircraft pilots with equal respect, “not as a leper community.”

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Nuke Panel Urges Big AF Changes

Saying they were surprised by the extent of the “erosion” in the quality of the Air Force’s management of its nuclear weapons since the end of the Cold War, a panel of greybeards led by former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger wants Air Force Space Command folded into a new Air Force Strategic Command and urges a range of other measures to ensure airmen dealing with nukes “feel they are part of an important mission.”

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StratCom Told of Cyberwar Posse Plans

You can almost hear Dirty Harry saying, “Go ahead. Make My Day.” That classic line captured the grudging respect some Americans have always felt for vigilante justice. The latest version would not involve guns but distributed denial of service attacks using hundreds or thousands of computers linked together. A network security expert has received emails proposing a cyber version of vigilante justice — thousands of computers linked together to strike back at those trying to cripple or destroy American computers.

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DHS Vs. Pentagon in Cyberspace

While the military’s main computer network — the NIPRNET — is “hopelessly compromised,” and the Pentagon has not decided how much risk it can accept to its classified network, the SIPRNET, a vigorous tug of war is also underway between the military, which jealousy guards its Title X responsibilities, and the Department of Homeland Security.

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Cyber Command Hold Part of AF “Policy Pause”

A reasonable person could infer that a recent memo freezing Air Force Cyber Command means the service is backing away from the effort. But I spoke with a source very familiar with the issue who said the service is not by any means backing away from its commitment. The memo is part of a policy pause by a new leadership in charge of an organization that has been traumatized by the unprecedented firing of its top leadership.

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Implications of Russian Cyber Battles

When the history of the Russian invasion of Georgia is written, one of the most revealing discussions may center on the role of cyber warfare.

Some questions that will need answering: Just when did Russian hackers begin their attacks on the Georgian websites. Just what role did NATO — especially Estonian and American — cyber warriors have in guiding the Georgian response. Was the enormous three-week attack on Estonia last April from Russia a practice run for the Georgian attack?

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House Bill Threat to DoD Innovation?

A bill in the House may result in what some defense small businessmen are calling a “revolutionary change” in small business investing. The small business programs administered by the federal government are up for reauthorization this year and the hedge fund and venture capitalists of the world have gotten together and convinced House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that change is needed.

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Schwartz’s Top 5 Priorities: Acquisition Comes Last

These are Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz’s top priorities, in order: nuclear issues; improving Joint and international cooperation; taking care of airmen and their families; reset and modernize air and space systems; acquisition issues.