JED - August 2012 - (Page 22)

washing t on repor t GAO REPORT AGAIN HIGHLIGHTS EW LEADERSHIP GAP The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) last month released its report to the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) entitled: “Electronic Warfare — DOD Actions Needed to Strengthen Management and Oversight.” The report examines the DOD’s overall approach to governing EW and the relationship between EW and cyberspace operations. The report’s conclusions regarding the first stated goal are clear: “DOD has not established an effective Department-wide governance framework for managing and overseeing EW, and DOD actions have not fully addressed a critical leadership gap.” The GAO report cites a 2010 Center for Strategic and International Studies report, Organizing for Electro-Magnetic Spectrum Control, in which lack of leadership was identified as the most critical gap. This, said the GAO, impedes both the identification of department-wide needs and solutions as well as the elimination of potentially unnecessary overlap among the military services’ EW acquisitions. It also fails to provide an “advocate with the authority to integrate and influence EW capabilities development, coordinate internal activities, and to represent those activities and interests to outside organizations.” According to the report, although DOD has since established the Joint Electromagnetic Spectrum Control Center (JEMSCC) under US Strategic Command, defining the JEMSCC as the DOD’s primary focal point for EW, it has not documented the objectives or implementation tasks and timeline for the JEMSCC. As a result, the report concludes that “it’s unclear to what extent the center will address the identified existing leadership deficiencies.” In addition, the GAO believes that JEMSCC could help provide better EW investment coordination and prioritization within DOD. “Without additional steps to define the purpose and activities of the JEMSCC, DOD lacks reasonable assurance that this center will provide effective department-wide leadership for electronic warfare capabilities development and ensure the effective and efficient use of its resources,” the report states. This is consistent with previous EW reports from the GAO, which have focused on the lack of coordination among the Services in EW programs. The GAO seems to be suggesting that the JEMSCC could be part of the solution to that problem by acquiring more authority to weigh in on EW priorities. As the report states, however, “Both the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics and the JEMSCC have been identified as the focal point for electronic warfare within the department, yet it is unclear what each organization’s roles and responsibilities are in relation to one another.” The bottom line recommendation from GAO going forward is that the Commander of Strategic Command define the objectives of the JEMSCC and issue an implementation plan for the center and that DOD update key departmental guidance regarding EW.” The report’s conclusions, relative to the second element of the GAO report – “the relationship between EW and cyberspace operations” – are less expansive, with perhaps the most significant element of the report being the text tagged onto its final recommendation for executive action. “The Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, in concert with the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics should clarify “as appropriate, the oversight roles and responsibilities for the integration of EW and cyberspace operations, specifically computer network operations.” The report notes that DOD’s fiscal year 2011 EW strategy report to Congress says that its EW strategy has two, often codependent capabilities: traditional EW and computer network attack, which is part of cyberspace operations. “According to cognizant DOD officials, EW capabilities may permit use of the electromagnetic spectrum as a maneuver space for cyberspace operations. For example, EW capabilities may serve as a means of accessing otherwise inaccessible networks to conduct cyberspace operations; presenting new opportunities for offensive action as well as the need for defensive preparations.” The report further states that DOD officials have noted that “there will be operations and capabilities that blur the lines between cyberspace operations and EW because of the continued expansion of wireless networking and the integration of computers and radio frequency communications.” The report repeatedly refers to the “evolving relationship” between EW and cyberspace operations, noting that “DOD may face challenges in its oversight of EW as a result of the evolving relationship between EW and cyberspace operations.” In that regard, it concludes that “DOD’s directives do not clearly define the roles and responsibilities for the oversight of electronic warfare in relation to the roles and responsibilities for information operations,” which includes computer network operations in cyberspace. – J. Haystead and J. Knowles a 22 The Journal of Electronic Defense | August 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - August 2012

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
EW and SIGINT Payloads for UAVs
EW Careers: The Changing Market
Technology Survey: FPGA Boards
EW 101
AOC News
Index of Advertisers

JED - August 2012