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Roger C. Molander, Peter A. Wilson, 
David A. Mussington, Richard F. Mesic

Copyrightc 1998 RAND


This report summarizes research performed by RAND for the Office of
the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command, Control, Communications
and Intelligence) in response to a request from the Office of the
Deputy Secretary of Defense. The objective of this effort was to
derive a framework for policy and strategy decisionmaking on problems
raised by the emerging potential of Strategic Information Warfare.

This study was undertaken in recognition that future U.S. national
security strategy is likely to be profoundly affected by the ongoing
rapid evolution of cyberspace--the Global Information Infrastructure
(GII)--and, thus by the growing dependence of the U.S. military and
other national institutions and infrastructures on potentially
vulnerable elements of the U.S. national information infrastructure. 

This report should be of special interest to those who are exploring
the effect of the information revolution on strategic warfare, and to
those who are concerned with ensuring the security of
information-dependent infrastructures. It should also be of interest
to those segments of the U.S. and the international security community
that are concerned with the post-Cold War evolution of military and
national security strategy, especially strategy changes driven wholly
or in part by the evolution of, and possible revolutions in,
information technology.

The research reported here was accomplished within the Acquisition and
Technology Policy Center of RAND's National Defense Research
Institute, a federally funded research and development center
sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, Unified Commands, and the defense agencies. It builds on an
earlier and ongoing body of research within the center on the national
security implications of the information revolution.


Deferred Issues

Issues that are not yet ready, for example, because of technical
uncertainties to be taken to closure, or, worse, issues that are taken
to closure prematurely, possibly producing "bad" strategy or policy
decisions that would be hard to undo. Issues in this category include 

     Intragovernmental and intergovernmental cooperation on
     politically sensitive privacy issues. This subject needs to be
     included in any discussion of SIW, but more detail is needed on
     how privacy rights would be protected under specific strategies
     and policies.

     Minimum essential information infrastructure (MEII). More
     analytical and conceptual work is needed to determine whether the
     MEII concept (a system providing a minimal level of
     communications access and services to critical governmental and
     societal user communities) is at all feasible from both a
     technical and cost standpoint.

     Encryption policy. SIW is just one of the many issue areas that
     need to be "brought to the table" when the United States and the
     international community chart long-term encryption-related goals
     and strategies.

Each of these areas requires sensitive treatment. In turn, each of
them overlaps with other elements of a comprehensive approach to
addressing SIW policy concerns. The notion that an action plan for
addressing SIW vulnerabilities requires that tradeoffs be made among
different factors is central to the unprecedented uncertainties of the
cyberspace environment. The next section addresses defensive and
offensive SIW issues that are significant to SIW action plans and
policy implementation.


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