The Best Defense

Hey, why isn't there a Uniformed University of Computer Sciences?

That question occurred to me yesterday as we were discussing the future of war.

The military has its own medical school, but not a school for computer sciences. If I were running things, I'd take some of the land at Fort Ord, about 90 minutes south of Silicon Valley, and open it up there.

I'd hire some recent Stanford grads and rich retirees from computer firms who want to do something for their country. I'd pair them with some crusty active-duty colonels to make sure the thing plugs into the military -- how it thinks, what it must focus on. I'd also start up a reserve unit for cyberwarriors and base it there. It could even be a joint unit, with members of all services.  

In the longer run, I'd consider changing over West Point from its emphasis on civil engineering to making it a computer science school. Think of it: In the 19th century, when West Point was the nation's premier engineering school, railroads and other companies snapped up Army officers. They understood the job and they knew how to lead organizations. When was the last time you heard of Google, Amazon, Oracle, or another computer-related firm looking for young officers to run their core operations?

The military "health sciences" school even has a hockey team. I wonder what sort of teams a "geeks with guns" (HT to SM) school would field? Laser tag?

That is all I have today on reforming the military education.

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

The Best Defense

'Cyber-privateers'

I heard that term yesterday for the first time, in two discussions held by New America's Future of War team.

It is meant to convey the sense that a state might commission a private entity to conduct offensive cyber-operations -- it might be against another state, or an NGO, a political party, or a bank. The state or people on the other side likely would consider themselves under attack from cyber-pirates. But what if the attacker had some sort of letter of marque, as well as a sanctuary from which to operate? How would he be different from Sir Francis Drake capturing Spanish galleons laden with the gold of the New World? The Spanish put up a huge award for the capture of El Draque. How much would a major bank pay for the capture of a cyberattacker?

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