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October 2, 2013  

Are we winning? | Split NSA and CyberCom | Civil-military tension

At a conference on “assessing war” — that is, determining whether you’re winning or losing — Mark Stout found himself longing not for the hard drive with 47 terabytes of data on Afghanistan, but for commanders with Napoleon’s coup d’oeil. (War on the Rocks)

Jason Healey, who edited the Atlantic Council’s history of cyber conflict (“A Fierce Domain”, 2013), says it’s time to split the leadership of NSA and U.S. CyberCom. “Imagine if the commander of U.S. Pacific Command were the leading source of information on the Chinese military threat, had the ear of Congress on China policy, ran covert military operations against China, and could decide what information on China was classified. This perverse concentration of power is similar to where the United States has found itself on cyber policy.” (Huffington Post)

Micah Zenko looks at the recent back-and-forth on the proper role of the military in U.S. democracy, and concludes, “Every administration has its share of disputes with the Pentagon, but when it comes to where and how U.S. armed forces will be used, civil-military relations have not been this tense and precarious since the end of the Cold War.” (Foreign Policy)

Longtime naval analyst Scott Truver fires back at those who say the age of the aircraft carrier may be waning. (Breaking Defense)

By the way, DoD will continue to award contracts during the shutdown, but won’t announce them until (if?) it ends. (Defense News)

Rosa Brooks has some sage advice on foreign-policy writing. (Foreign Policy)

Warlord’s Quote of the Day

“It is easier to make war than to make peace.” — George Clemenceau, speech at Verdun, July 1919.

Contributed by Dick Grimmett, who concentrated on war powers, U.S. intelligence policy/oversight, and the international arms trade at the Congressional Research Service before retirement. From a list compiled by the Warlord Loop, a private email forum for national security experts.

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