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[infowar.de] Protecting Critical Military Infrastructures
Protecting Critical Military Infrastructures
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 7, 2001 -- Even before Sept. 11, DoD
recognized the importance of protecting critical
For more than two years, experts in the Office of the
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control,
Communications and Intelligence have been working to
identify DoD's critical assets and their associated
supporting infrastructures, and develop policy on their
protection, and game how the department would work if a
node in these infrastructures were destroyed.
Tom Bozek is the director of the Critical Infrastructure
Protection Office. He leads a small staff that is putting
in place the policy framework for critical infrastructure
The military has long known certain physical or cyber
capabilities are essential to protect the nation. They are
also essential to help the military accomplish its
missions. Measures can be as mundane as physically
protecting a facility or installation to ensuring satellite
communications continue uninterrupted. The office studies
the big picture and applies lessons to specific fixes.
"We want to learn the lessons once and implement the
solutions many times," Bozek said.
Bozek's office works with the warfighting commands to
determine what capabilities are critical to their missions.
Then the office works with the service or agency that
"owns" the asset to ensure the capability is protected or
that procedures are established so the mission continues in
the event of a breakdown.
It's a big job. "We're trying to understand what assets are
critical to military mission success," Bozek said. The
office concentrates on these critical infrastructures:
transportation, logistics, financial services, public
works, health affairs, personnel, defense information,
space, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
Bozek said the picture is complicated because there are
many interrelationships between the various
infrastructures. "We know that there are interrelationships
among the assets in these infrastructures," he said. An
asset failure in one infrastructure may have an adverse
cascading afect on assets in many other infrastructures.
Once the group defines the interdependencies, it can
isolate where the single points of failure may be that
would cause mission failures.
The group has built on experience gained during the Year
2000 computer bug effort. "We're taking advantage of the
Y2K experiences. That's a good example of the
interdependencies," Bozek said. "You have a variety of
information systems that are connected. They pass data to
each other through this network. The same is true on
physical infrastructures ? transportation, logistics,
financial services and so on. So, we find the same
principles apply to these infrastructures that we learned
The office calls on many different agencies for help. Bozek
relies on the Navy's Joint Program Office for Special
Technology Countermeasures as the overall technical agent.
He also calls on the Defense Threat Reduction Agency for
balanced survivability assessments.
In addition, the office works closely with the Homeland
Security Division of the Joint Staff, and with all the
combat commands, services and combat support agencies. The
office also works with the FBI and the National
Infrastructure Protection Center.
The Sept. 11 attacks underscored for the military the need
for redundant facilities and partnerships with private
industries. The attacks in New York, for example,
illustrated the robustness of U.S. telecommunications
facilities. Private telecommunications companies -- that
DoD uses also -- reconstituted financial communications
networks fairly quickly.
But the attacks illustrated how much the military relies on
private firms for infrastructure support. "We are dependent
on our private sector partners," Bozek said. "Our telecom
is over private lines, most bases take power from private
sources. Private shipping lines augment our sealift and
"We are developing even closer relationships with our
private partners to identify potential vulnerabilities and
to get better."
In light of the asymmetrical threats the U.S. military
faces, the mission given Bozek's office is never-ending.
"Critical infrastructure protection has a defensive focus,
offense almost always has the advantage," he said. "There
are always going to be newer creative ways adversaries are
going to use to try to overcome our defenses. Everyone
needs to be vigilant."
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