Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cryptology is dying and IW is dead

What will we be next?

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Constitution.

Navy Grade 36 Bureaucrat said...

Huh?

mike said...

Word on the street. Looking for evidence to the contrary.

Anonymous said...

It wouldn't surprise me. It's hard to imagine a community that is more divorced from what the navy does. At this point in time it should be expected that the management and leadership can be provided by line officers since most of the work in the arena is done by contractors like Snowden.
OK, it's done mostly by computers now and real contractors. In a sense, it is a lot like crewing former USS ships with MSC crews.

Cryptology/IW said...

Word of my death has been greatly exaggerated.

Anonymous said...

Any confusion about whether we do/do not do Cryptology is limited to our upper leadership. They have been away from anything operational for so long they simply don't know what we do anymore, only what their vision wants it to be.

Keeping in mind that Cryptology refers to SIGINT, 90% of our community remains heavily entrenched is this work. Whether at sea, under the sea, in the air, or at a national site, that is what we have done and continue to do. In my 25 plus years of service none of that has changed. Yes, the leadership will play around with re-branding (IW, Cyber, etc) but in the end our mission really has not changed. We are Cryptologic Officers and Cryptologic Technicians providing Signals Intelligence for tactical and national users. Period.

Anonymous said...

AMEN Anon 6:34!

Anonymous said...

We should have heard the death knell when JCS expunged the term “Information Warfare” from the joint lexicon – just as we christened our leadership cadre “Information Warfare Officers”.

Aside from, perhaps, subsurface DIRSUP and cyber, the future of this "community" is drones controlled from remote locations by civilians. This is largely due to our notion that special signals aren't tactically relevant - the battle cry of many a CRC. Oddly, they are critically relevant to any burgeoning adversarial Navy, but not to our IW/CT cadre. So, instead, we've done a fool's errand for the SWO community over these many years since the Cold War - provide bodies (watchstanders), earn SWO pin, pose as valuable contributors. Yet, with all of that investment, we still have to reach back to WWII to find cryptology that mattered at the tactical and operational level. No Naval community can survive current budget pressures on such dated glory.

Our community was established to provide uncanny and specialized expertise to the Navy; exquisite capabilities that could not be found in the traditional force. Yet, for too long, we have spent our resources striving to be just like everyone else. Rest well, cryptology....

Anonymous said...

Given some of the comments above, this seemed pretty germane.

Conclusion(s) or Recommendation(s). There was not a single event that led to the consolidation and downsizing of IUSS; it was a series of events that happened simultaneously. BRAC clearly did not cause the drastic downsizing of IUSS. There were five overarching factors that contributed to the downsizing of IUSS: January 1992
Commodores’ Conference; September 1992 Congressional budget cut; Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS) U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) study
in December 1992; January 1993 Navy budget cut; Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) GAO study in May 1993; and the 58 percent budget cut in December 1993. The GAO studies were conducted independently and prematurely, and had a predetermined
outcome. The shroud of secrecy under which IUSS operated until the end of the Cold War, the user-unfriendly reports to tactical units in the fleet, and not having a supporting program sponsor with a vested interest in the system capabilities contributed to the
perception by the DoN and GAO that IUSS is unable to detect submarines, including
Russian diesel submarines. The emphasis on Dual Uses by the IUSS community contributed to the belief that there was not an operational requirement for IUSS.

This is from: TITLE: THE NAVY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: IS IUSS BECOMING A LOST ART?

AUTHOR: DAWN M. MASKELL, COMMANDER, U.S. NAVY

and Mike, seriously, 12 random numbers to prove I'm not a robot? Isn't that a bit much?

mike said...

Anonymous @ January 13, 2014 at 2:19 PM

My apologies. I have shut off the "prove you are human" verification.

Anonymous said...

The establishment of a joint Cyber Corps (i.e. a new military service of some type) will be the next step. This will be the place where anything approaching the spirit and skill of "cryptology" will reside. All the rest of it will be under the IDC with SIGINT and EW managed by unrestricted line officers. Our officers simply don't have (or haven't displayed, haven't been held accountable to) the degree of intellectual differentiation that would require a separate cryptologic community.

Anonymous said...

From the previous thread (our community's foundational principles), our Community Leader is committed to, among other things, "Pushing regular updates directly to all interested community members." I wonder what he (or ANY of the other signatories, for that matter) has to say on this topic. Not to mention, WHEN he might say it.

mike said...

One of the challenges behind making documents such as the Cryptologic Community Foundational Principles worthwhile is getting to the action behind the ideas. It's a tough thing to do. A great staff will help with such things. That is what Action Officers are for - ACTION. We need more Staff ACTION officers and fewer Staff Officers. Action, action, action. Keeping track of what we say we're going to do and doing it is a full time job. Linking the plan to action outcomes is important. The Flags can't do it all themselves. Chief of Staff - over to you.

Navy Grade 36 Bureaucrat said...

@Anon 6:34.

SIGINT is still very relevant, but you're missing the point. We're going to need more investment in real EW and CNO in the future, and right now too many in the community are not embracing it. Do we want to let SWOs and aviators run cyber? And what about our lost art of MILDEC? We're sticking with the old at the expense of the new, instead of streamlining our old and embracing the new.

We've gotten lazy...it's too easy to sit back and provide the fleet the same SIGINT we've done forever. We are not pushing the bar high enough for our Sailors (enlisted and officer alike). We are stuck in WW2 and attempting to rest on our laurels.

I'm tired of hearing about the battle of Midway. How about the battles we've been fighting now? Where are our current heroes, and why aren't we celebrating their accomplishments?

Anonymous said...

CAPT Lambert, I don't disagree. But I would caveat that staffs operate on Battle Rhythms that are tied directly to Commanders' (and their ISICs') requirements/deliverables/products/interest items. If no one is directing (or asking for) periodic updates related to the Foundational Principles document (or anything else for that matter), then staffs will spend their prescious little time on more pressing issues. The TENTH Fleet staff has a lot more on its collective plate than IW "Community Leader" issues.

If "Cryptology is dying and IW is dead," we should be hearing that from our Community's most senior leaders, not from their Chiefs of Staff and action officers.

Anonymous said...

IW/Cryptology is only dead for those who are hiding from sea duty. Cyber is the shiny new toy, however we still have a lot of billets to man AT SEA. Too many officers running around these days feeling they are too good to do the jobs that are still very much alive in the more traditional battlespace.

Anonymous said...

@ Navy Grade 36 Bureaucrat

I don't disagree with you about EW and CNO. We need to invest more in both, especially EW. And we need to ensure our role in CNO is relevant to Navy, vice only national, objectives.

As far as heroes go, I'm somewhat shocked you would ask. Visit the NSA memorial, in person or online, and take note of all the CT's listed who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Whether in Vietnam, flying airborne recon missions, or during the Global War on Terrorism, we have lots of heroes to honor. Why the community doesn't honor them regularly is beyond me. Our proud history didn't stop with Midway. That is where it started...

Anonymous said...

Come on, folks, our heroes that died were not necessarily accomplishing great feats of cryptology for our Navy. Similarly, filling an empty billet at sea does not necessarily lead to meaningful cryptologic contributions to the Navy. Let's not turn this into an emotional thing. I think the question about heroes had more to do with going up against hard problems and winning by applying our cryptologic talents in the right way, at the right time, at the right place.

I challenge you all to do a quick poll at your command.

Q1: How many of you would stand up today & take a bullet for your country? ANS: All hands raised.

Q2: How many of you would stand up today & take a calculus (insert relevant advanced training/education) class for your country? ANS: *Cricket Chirps*

Anonymous said...

Regarding:

"Anonymous said...
Come on, folks, our heroes that died were not necessarily accomplishing great feats of cryptology for our Navy."

You could apply this question to anyone who died in the service of their country -- infantry, pilot, SEAL, etc. While dying doesn't necessarily make them a hero, let's not belittle the sacrifice they made doing what they were sent to do.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Come on, folks, our heroes that died were not necessarily accomplishing great feats of cryptology for our Navy."

RE Anonymous 9:57 AM

You are correct, & I did not mean to belittle their sacrifice. Rather, I meant to set those special heroes aside from whether or not the cryptologic community has a viable future. Taking the argument toward a discussion of the ultimate sacrifice is a trump card that basically ends any conversation. Of course we honor their sacrifice - especially as veterans. But, more than 99% of us do not face this in our operational reality. So, back to the real question - Is there a future for meaningful cryptologic contributions from this community?

Anonymous said...

Regarding...

" So, back to the real question - Is there a future for meaningful cryptologic contributions from this community?"

I would say absolutely! But we have to be careful in what we mean by cryptologic. In my context, this somewhat historic term simply refers to our community. But our actual contributions are grounded in the three pillars laid out by our leadership sometime ago - SIGINT, EW, and CNO. We have a ton to contribute in all three areas!