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The Cyber Defense Review

Winning the Cyberspace Long Game — Applying Collaboration and Education to Deepen the U.S. Bench

By Colonel Nancy Blacker | July 31, 2018

Since 9/11, collaboration, on any subject touching national security, has increased and improved among U.S. Government departments and agencies. While this improvement is welcome, it nonetheless waxes and wanes with various leaders. Though a bit of a generalization, it is a recognized truth that leaders with previous ‘good experiences’ throughout the interagency champion collaboration and those with ‘bad experiences’ stifle collaboration. Those with negative experiences are content to allow the ‘small stuff’ (time to meet, time to build personal relationships, time for education, and minor expenditures for travel) to present insurmountable obstacles to collaboration. In the quickly changing environment of cyberspace, this cannot stand. Blowing through bureaucracy is an imperative to the development of effective strategies and subsequent plans and actions that counter adversarial cyber operations. The Department of Defense (DoD), with a rather large share of the budget and doctrine that defines planning and execution, should take a stand across the inter-agency cultural divide and drive results-based collaboration. To apply a relatable metaphor, DoD needs to achieve results faster than it took Army to halt Navy’s most recent football winning streak. National cybersecurity guidance mandates collaboration on many fronts, but does not speak to (nor should it) how to actually collaborate. Recent Congressional legislation guides and directs collaboration and reinforces this urgent need particularly in the cyber arena (e.g., Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2016; Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014; National Cybersecurity Protection Act of 2014; Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014, Cybersecurity National Action Plan of 2016, that supports and implements the Cyber Security Act of 2015).


Winning the Cyberspace Long Game — Applying Collaboration and Education to Deepen the U.S. Bench

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