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Security Must Remain Though Weapons and Warfare Change

By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6, 2000 – The borderless world of cyberspace promises DoD unprecedented capabilities -- and vulnerability, according to one of the department's senior command, control, communications and intelligence expert.

Bill Leonard, principal deputy assistant defense secretary for C3I, was among the senior leaders who turned out Sept. 5 to kick off Security Awareness Week at the Pentagon. Deputy Defense Secretary Rudy de Leon and David O. Cooke, director of administration and management, joined in stressing the need for information and physical security.

Leonard said DoD must develop ways to deal with the new global environment. He said potential enemies are seeking asymmetric means to defeat or undermine U.S. capabilities. He called on senior service leaders and other defense officials filling the Pentagon auditorium to put the same emphasis on security as they have on force protection.

Security and countering terrorism are increasing problems here and throughout the world, Cooke said, noting recent steps taken to improve physical security at the Pentagon. Electronic turnstiles have been added at all entrances, and construction of a remote commercial delivery site is under way. Other enhanced security measures are not so visible, he added.

De Leon pointed out that it's just as important to safeguard information today as it was during World War II and the Cold War. When the Pentagon opened at the height of World War II, he said, security awareness was pervasive.

"Posters warned against 'careless talk' and that 'loose lips sink ships.' Even cafeteria napkins reminded diners to think security. … Today, we might say 'loose bits sink ships,'" he said.

Computer security is perhaps the most visible and vulnerable area right now, de Leon said, as the world's battlefields are shifting from "fire and iron to bits and bytes."

The Love Bug virus, for example, shut down computer networks from the British House of Commons to Ford Motor Co., he said. It cost an estimated $8 billion to restore the damage caused by the global e-mail.

Security is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week, 365-day-a-year necessity, de Leon stressed. He called on the DoD family to think security -- when they deal with classified information, when they notice suspicious activity, when they arrive in the morning, and when they leave at night.

"It's critical that each of us maintains security. Vigilance starts with each one of you," he said. "The Pentagon is not just another office building. It's the nerve center of America's entire military operations."

Even the most benign comment or action could signal trouble, he noted. "It's too easy to miss the obvious," he said.

In closing, to illustrate his point, de Leon recounted a story of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson on a camping trip. "In the middle of the night, Holmes wakes up Watson and says: 'Look at the sky. What do you see?'

"Watson replies: 'I see stars -- millions and millions of them.' And Holmes asks: 'So what does that tell you, Watson?'

"To which Dr. Watson answers: 'Astronomically, it tells me there are millions of galaxies. Horologically, it tells me it's quarter past three. Astrologically, it tells me Saturn is in Leo. Meteorologically, it tells me we'll have a nice day tomorrow.'

"Holmes says nothing, prompting Watson to finally ask, 'Well Holmes, what does all this tell you?' And the detective snaps, 'It tells me that someone has stolen our tent.'

"Even in this information age," deLeon said, "there are still those who seek to 'steal our tent.'"

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