Comprehensive Strategy for USSF Released to Armed Services Committee

Last Friday, the Department of the Air Force released a report to the US Congressional Armed Services and Appropriations Committees describing the comprehensive strategy for the Space Force. The report describes the vision and strategy that the USSF will pursue in coming years and lists priorities, policies, funding, Lines of Effort, and military philosophy.

The topic of Cybersecurity is mentioned multiple times throughout the report indicating the growing recognition of the role it must play in all military operations. For example, the report states “Because of the complexity of the space domain with digital and technological dependencies, space operations cannot be easily separated from cyber operations…”

However, while these inclusions are promising, it does not do enough to adequately recognize the central role that cyber security must take for the other stated missions to succeed. In fact, as shown in Figure 1 from the report, the smallest piece of the funding pie is allocated to Cyber Defense from 2024 to 2028. If money talks, this clearly shows that the AF does not view Cybersecurity as a high priority. This is consistent with the current general military culture and is directly contrary to the following statement found at the conclusion of the report: “The Space Force will not succeed if it assumes its previous ways will be effective in the emerging security environment.”

There have been rumors about the creation of yet another military branch dedicated solely to information warfare and cyber operations. If this is the case, then it would not make sense for the Space Force to allocate time and money to cyber defense. Perhaps this report can be viewed as a foot stomp for that reality to materialize.