Currently viewing the category: "Strategy"

Booz Allen Hamilton’s Economist Intelligence Unit produced an interesting visualization hub of the G20 countries Cyber Power. This is a fairly interesting concept to consider. The Cyber Power index is targeted at the ability of “G20 countries to withstand cyber attacks and to deploy the digital infrastructure needed for a productive economy.” Now combine this with the relationship of the ability of a country to trust more ultimately appears to lead to a country’s higher GDP (Dr. Virgil Gligor, CMU).

The team also stated that “Cyber Power is created when a complex digital information network is combined with a secure and robust physical infrastructure and developed by a skilled workforce.”  Even though the Cyber Power Hub uses a hybrid of quantitative and qualitative scoring the two are fused quite well while focusing on (Highest scoring country):

  • Legal and Regulatory Framework (Germany)
  • Economic and Social Context (United States)
  • Technology Infrastructure (United Kingdom)
  • Industry Application (Australia)

The resulting findings paper summarizes down to 5 key items.

  • Germany’s Comprehensive Cyber Policies are a key to its success.
  • Clear Cybersecurity plans are absent in even some of the major economies.
  • Cyber power relies on a solid foundation that includes technical skills, high educational attainment levels, open trade policies, and an innovative business environment.
  • Prioritization of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) access is higher in the developed world.
  • The G20 countries exhibit limited technological progress within key industries.

Germany really surprised me.  I would not have selected them out of the G20 group as the leaders of the legal
and regulatory framework category (99.3/100).  Head on over to Amazon to purchase more Cyber Power (if only).

[Cyber Power Index - Findings and Methodology]

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So you watched PBS’s interview with the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter and you think you could do a better job.  Well saddle up, now you can.  Given the opportunity to be Secretary of Defense for a Day how would you have solved the requirements for DoD Budget cuts and laid out the Defense Budget Priorities? Do it yourself and enjoy the benefit of no ramifications or backlash of your decision with the New York Times’ The Future Military: Your Budget Strategy site.  You can easily decide what to cut and what to keep.  Keep the drones; dump the humans.  Whatever you decide be warned once you enter the Acquisition process…good luck getting out alive!

[New York Times]


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The requirement was to save $487 billion over the next decade or $259 billion over the next five years. The Defense Department released their Budget Priorites yesterday and a slew of comments, opinions, and reevaluation requests immediately arose.

This reaction is normal. It is the human response ultimately to change. We feel threatened by that which we do not know; in this case it is the future. What will my job be tomorrow if I was working on the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk Block 30 Program? This is a significant issue both due to the job market and financial crisis the United States has been experiencing.  The Defense Industrial Base is extremely important but it should also understand that the DoD cannot build everything it always desires.  One might consider asking was there really a reason for two separate Services (USAF and USN) to have this program?  There could have been decent reasons; but now those reasons thus the basis for two programs is gone.

If you look at Death and Taxes you’ll understand that in any democracy there must be balance.  You’ll also see that there must be a significant adjustment by the Defense Sector in order to both solve the debt crisis and place dollars in strategic locations.  Traditionally we do a bad job of cancelling things that we really don’t need or have let go well beyond their usefulness.  Some of the initiatives everyone is responsible for assisting and enforcing to ensure more efficient Defense dollars are:

  • More skillful contracting practices to increase competition, reduce costs, and increase buying power
  • Better use of information technology
  • Better use of business and enterprise systems
  • Streamlined staff
  • Limitations on official travel
  • Better inventory management
  • Reductions in contract services
  • Deferral of some military construction to align our facilities more closely with the size and posture of our future force
  • Reductions in planned civilian pay raises

The Budget Priorities goes on to layout the entire plan for the next 5 and 10 years.  The interesting part of a document of this magnitude is that it has enemies both Foreign and Domestic.  The goals must be achieved and the country protected.