Last updated: April 15, 2010 - 8:03am
The Army intelligence officer nominated to lead the Pentagon's new command devoted to warfare in cyberspace has warned Congress that policy directives and legal controls over digital combat are outdated and have failed to keep pace with the military's technical capabilities.
Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, wrote to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that computer network warfare was evolving so rapidly that there was a "mismatch between our technical capabilities to conduct operations and the governing laws and policies." As he prepared for a confirmation hearing on Thursday as the first head of the Cyber Command, he pledged that the White House and Pentagon were "working hard to resolve the mismatch."
In a 32-page response to questions from senators, General Alexander sketched out the broad battlefield envisioned for the computer warfare command and acknowledged the kind of targets that his new headquarters could be ordered to attack. The target list included traditional battlefield prizes — command-and-control systems at military headquarters, air defense networks and weapons systems that require computers to operate. But he agreed with a question submitted by the Senate that asked whether the target list would include civilian institutions and municipal infrastructure that are essential to state sovereignty and stability, including power grids, banks and financial networks, transportation and telecommunications.
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