Signals & Space Monthly Cyber Security Briefing

October 2018

Prepared by the CyberWire (Monday, October 1, 2018)

A US national cyber strategy.

The US has released its national cyber strategy, with a strong emphasis on deterrence. An introduction to the document answers the question "How did we get here?" It calls out, by name, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and China, describing them as repressive regimes that exploit open societies and systems while remaining themselves largely, and self-consciously, closed. Terrorists and criminals are named along with these four adversaries as representing threats to American interests in cyberspace. Responding to these threats will be consistent with commitment to an open Internet, and, more importantly to such enduring values as "belief in the power of individual liberty, free expression, free markets, and privacy."  

The strategy has four "pillars": "Protect the American People, the Homeland, and the American Way of Life;" " Promote American Prosperity;" " Preserve Peace through Strength;" and "Advance American Influence." Each pillar is explained in terms of specific measures. The strategy commits, first, to "defend the homeland by protecting networks, systems, functions, and data;" second, "promote American prosperity by nurturing a secure, thriving digital economy and fostering strong domestic innovation;" third, "preserve peace and security by strengthening the United States’ ability—in concert with allies and partners — to deter and if necessary punish those who use cyber tools for malicious purposes;" and fourth, "expand American influence abroad to extend the key tenets of an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet."

The priority actions outlined in the third pillar, the "peace through strength" section are, first, "lead with objective, collaborative intelligence," that is, objective, actionable intelligence that will lead to clear and credible attribution. Second, the strategy promises to "impose consequences," that will be "swift and transparent," and imposed in collaboration with allies. Third, the strategy declares its intention to "build a cyber deterrence initiative" also in cooperation with like-minded state committed to emerging international norms. And fourth, the United States will be committed to "counter[ing] malign cyber influence and information operations," including propaganda and disinformation from both state and non-state actors. 

Domestically the strategy has been generally well-received by those who've commented on it, notably including experts who worked in the previous Administration. They and others see both continuity and evolution toward a clearer, more active policy in cyberspace. 

The US adopts a more agile, permissive approach to cyber operations.

President Trump also this month rescinded Presidential Directive 20, which had mandated extensive interagency coordination before the US would engage in an offensive cyber operations. The new policy, contained in National Security Presidential Memorandum (NSPM) 13, dispenses with much of the National Security Council's mediation across the Government, and instead delegates certain kinds of operations to the Department of Defense. This represents a further integration of cyber capabilities into mainstream military operations. That tendency has manifested itself elsewhere in the growing convergence of cyber operations and electronic warfare.

The Defense Department also issued a cybersecurity strategy. Intended to be consonant with the Government's larger cyber strategy, the Pentagon's vision as expressed in the unclassified version of the plan, involves "defending forward." It's a more assertive posture, and the more permissive policy of NSPM 13 is expected to enable US Cyber Command to impose costs on notoriously damage-tolerant adversaries (read, "Russia").

The US national cyber strategy expressed a desire to foster the development of international norms for conflict in cyberspace. It's been widely reported that there are no international norms of cyber conflict, but that's almost certainly incorrect, at least with respect to cyber operations that produce kinetic effects. Those effects would be subject, one would think, to the same constraints that govern armed conflict generally, in particular those that enjoin proportionality and discrimination. 

Close orbital encounters.

France has accused Russia of approaching dangerously close to a French satellite. Defense Minister Florence Parly complained that a Russian spacecraft, Luch-Olymp, approached the Franco-Italian satellite Athena-Fidus. Athena-Fidus is used for secure military communications and operational planning. Defense Minister Parly called it espionage—the Russian satellite has "big ears," she said, and was engaged in attempting to intercept communications.

The Luch family of satellites has aroused suspicion for some time. The US complained last month that a maneuvering Russian orbital system was behaving in a way inconsistent with any peaceful purpose. Luch craft have approached commercial communications satellites before, but governments have tended to keep such encounters quiet. That seems to be changing. Close approach to a satellite is consistent not only with espionage, but also with destruction, which seemed to be the point of the earlier US complaint.

A British satellite has a more benign declared purpose. A team from the University of Surrey has tested an orbital net to capture a piece of debris from its place in orbit, some two-hundred miles above the earth.

Sabotage in the International Space Station?

Russia also reported trouble in orbit—there's a leak in the International Space Station. In this case authorities indicated sabotage. Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin thinks there's a wrecker somewhere in the supply and maintenance chain, and he's determined to find the culprit and name names. Other observers think the leak, which is not life or mission threatening, is as likely to be an accident as it is to be deliberate damage.

Air Force Secretary places the cost of Space Force at $13 billion.

That's over the next five years. The price tag has given some skeptics in Congress further reason for skepticism. On the other hand, some nostalgia for Space Command aside, the Air Force has generally gotten on board with the concept.

Many have asked what the benefits of a Space Force would be. Or, as a panel at the Center for Strategic and International Studies posed the question, what problem would establishing a Space Force solve? The answers seem to involve bringing greater strategic and operational clarity to space operations. All the Services use and conduct space operations, at least in the sense of depending upon space assets for some of their C4ISR requirements. Some suggest that space operations, as important as they are, will suffer from systemic neglect if they remain fragmented across the Services as they are today. Why remediating this would require a new Service isn't, however, entirely clear. Would a dedicated Combatant Command do as well? There are two models of such an approach: Special Operations Command and Cyber Command, and the lessons learned there might help inform debate about a Space Force.

And, of course, those looking for a different example will find one in the Marine Corps.

How many spaceports does America need?

The country just got its eleventh, in Colorado ("The first mile is free," wisecracked Governor Hickenlooper at the dedication) but only three of them actually launched anything last year. This would seem to argue considerable over-capacity. The market for launch services can be expected to undergo consolidation as competition among the eleven spaceports clarifies the relationship between supply and demand.

JEDI extension.

Department of Defense CIO Dana Deasy said at the Billington Cybersecurity Summit this month that the Pentagon is in the middle of an active RFP process, and sometimes when addressing requests for clarification, it makes sense to extend deadlines. That's what Defense has done. Oracle has lodged a second protest against the procurement, which observers suggest is a way of maintaining legal pressure on the Government. It's a large and lucrative contract, and no vendor wants to be left on the sidelines.

Launch market notes.

Russia will stop carrying NASA crews to the International Space Station. Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said that the contract to carry NASA crews to the station aboard Soyuz craft would end in April. There's some possibility for renegotiation, but NASA is seen as under pressure to get the SpaceX and Boeing crewed spacecraft testing and flying. It's increasingly uncomfortable to depend upon seats in the Soyuz. A note on cost—NASA has paid the Russians about $18 million a seat.

China is also working on the Long March 9, which will be able to lift 140 tons into low-earth orbit. It's expected to become operational in 2028.

SpaceX has achieved better-than-expected reusability rates with its Block 5 booster, and that's expected to drive launch costs even lower.

Northrop Grumman successfully completed qualification testing of its new graphite epoxy motor, designed for use on the United Launch Alliance Atlas V.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched two British commercial payloads this month aboard its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. The two satellites are earth observation platforms, NovaSAR and S1-4. ISRO notes that this was a "fully commercial" launch. 

Space tourism.

SpaceX continues its development of the Big Falcon Rocket, too. The company now now has a paying private customer to help fund the company's own literal moonshot. He's Japanese "clothing tycoon" Yusaka Maezawa, and he'll be accompanied into translunar injection by a crew of six-to-eight artists, all of whose seats Mr. Maezawa is paying for. SpaceX's Elon Musk says the technology will be ready in two or three years. It's a stepping stone to the one-way, Mars colonization trip Mr. Musk says he wants to run in 2030.


The space agency is mulling putting ads on its launch vehicles, and letting astronauts do product endorsements. Administrator Jim Bridenstine has directed that NASA study ways of improving its brand, and the model is from professional sports, with rockets as stadiums (naming rights available) and astronauts as celebrity athletes (free to appear on cereal boxes). It would serve as a possible source of revenue, but it would also help with NASA's traditional interest in encouraging young people to consider careers in aerospace science and engineering. There's also some consideration being given to selling NASA-branded merchandise. 

Skeptics are concerned over possible conflicts of interest. They're also concerned that Congress might cut NASA's budget on the grounds that the agency could make good on any shortfalls from endorsements. 

Russia's done this for some time. Pizza Hut paid $2.5 million to put its logo on the side of a Proton rocket at the end of 1999, and subsequently also delivered a pie to the International Space Station. Two cosmonauts demonstrated a Fisher Space Pen (it writes in zero gravity) on QVC.

Tony Stark territory.

SpaceX founder Musk continues his provocative bad-boy ways, attracting litigation for remarks he made about a cave rescue leader, drawing regulatory attention for tweets about Tesla, and arousing the interest of Air Force investigators for taking (arguably legal) joint hits in an online video. How this will affect SpaceX is unknown, so far.



Today's edition of the CyberWire reports events affecting Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Iran, Japan, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, Macedonia, NATO/OTAN, Russia, Syria, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Selected Reading

Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities (4)

Trends (3)

Marketplace (32)

Products, Services, and Solutions (16)

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards (10)

Design and Innovation (5)

Research and Development (4)

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation (32)

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement (3)

Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities

‘Espionage:' French defense head charges Russia of dangerous games in space (Defense News) A Russian satellite “with big ears” cozied up to a French one last year in an apparent effort to eavesdrop on secure military communications, France’s defense minister alleged Friday.

U.S. Holds Talks With U.K., France on Possible Syria Strikes (Wall Street Journal) The U.S. is working with France and the U.K. on plans for a coordinated military strike in Syria if the regime uses chemical weapons in an expected offensive against the country’s last major rebel haven, President Trump’s national security adviser said.

Germany mulls joining US-led airstrikes in Syria (Deutsche Welle) A report suggests Germany's Bundeswehr could soon be called upon to take part in airstrikes on Syria, if another chemical attack were to occur. While Angela Merkel's CDU supports the idea, others remain wary.

Russia Space Chief Suggests International Space Station Leak Could Be Sabotage (Motherboard) Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin, known for bombastic comments, said it was “a matter of honor” to “find the one responsible” for the puncture.


World War AI (Foreign Policy) China and America should watch out: Artificial intelligence could propel emerging powers to the forefront of war while leaving old superpowers behind.

The new space race: how billionaires launched the next era of exploration (the Guardian) The launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket into deep space has fired dreams of a new era of 21st-century discovery

From the bookshelf: ‘The perfect weapon’ | The Strategist (The Strategist) The new cold war is being fought in cyberspace on a continuing basis and with ever more sophisticated technologies. The Western powers, principally the United States and its allies, confront growing intrusions from adversaries ranging ...


France to bolster defense spending by $2 billion. Here’s the military equipment already on order (Defense News) France plans to boost its 2019 defense budget to $42.2 billion, up 5 percent from the present year.

Why the Military Must Learn to Love Silicon Valley (Foreign Policy) The U.S. Defense Department and big tech need each other—but getting along won’t be easy

Pentagon Extends JEDI Deadline Again—With a Catch ( The department is requiring bidders to deliver their proposals in person.

Oracle Files Second Supplemental Protest Against JEDI ( The company continues to keep the legal pressure on the Defense Department.

Why the Pentagon’s $10 billion JEDI deal has cloud companies going nuts (TechCrunch) By now you’ve probably heard of the Defense Department’s massive winner-take-all $10 billion cloud contract dubbed the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (or JEDI for short). Star Wars references aside, this contract is huge, even by government standards.The Pentagon would like a s…

Former Symantec boss takes over the Defense Innovation Unit (Defense News) Michael Brown spent two decades running companies in Silicon Valley, eventually rising to CEO of Symantec, one of the largest software companies in the world, with annual revenues of $4 billion and more than 10,000 employees.

NGEN-R: What is the Navy thinking? (Federal Times) The Navy's breaking the network with its Next Generation Enterprise Network contract re-compete.

On the new battlefield, the Navy has to get software updates to the fleet within days, acquisition boss says (C4ISRNET) If the U.S. Navy can't get software updates to the fleet fast, it's falling behind on the modern battlefield.

Will Army Futures Command work? House lawmakers skeptical, but hopeful (Defense News) House lawmakers are both skeptical and hopeful that the Army will be able to pull off a major overhaul of how it will modernize and acquire weapons and equipment.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency chooses BAE Systems for data network (Military Embedded Systems) BAE Systems has garnered three contract awards from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) aimed at strengthening NGA's near-real-time access to commercially created geospatial data, enriched content, and community-sourced information; such data is used to improve decision timelines for policymakers, the military, and emergency networks.

Air Force awards next GPS satellite contract (C4ISRNET) Unsurprisingly, the only bidder in the competition took home the prize.

Air Force transforms existing program office into its new software development hub (Defense News) Program Executive Office Battle Management is getting a new name and new mission.

Air Force will use new authorities for cyber carrier (Fifth Domain) The Air Force will be using Section 804 authorities to procure Unified Platform.

Air Force Busts Out Credit Cards To Buy High Tech Gear (Breaking Defense) The Air Force can be an “angel investor” for some startups, said Will Roper, the service’s top acquisition official.

DIA announces winners in massive intelligence technology contract (C4ISRNET) The HELIOS contract seeks to develop technologies that can enhance the intelligence gathering capabilities within the elusive agency and prevent

Northrop Grumman Selected for DIA HELIOS IDIQ Supporting Intelligence Data Collection (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has selected Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) as one of nine companies to provide critical support for its Directorate for Science and Technology (DIA/ST). The...

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack Turns First Sod at Satellite Ground Station East, Kapooka (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) Australia proudly hosted the Hon Michael McCormack MP, Deputy Prime Minister, at Kapooka today to turn the first sod at Satellite Ground Station East (SGS-E),...

Northrop Grumman wins modification on big electronic warfare contract (C4ISRNET) Northrop Grumman received $9 million contract modification to a major electronic warfare program.

Boeing completes satellite-firm takeover as Trump expands in space (Washington Examiner) Boeing Co., which is designing a reusable space plane for the U.S. military, has completed the takeover of a firm that builds small satellites like those the craft is designed to carry as President Trump broadens America's off-world power.

Boeing invests in outer-space communications as Trump plans Mars trip (Washington Examiner) Boeing Co. is investing in a Denver-based firm behind a network of optical ground stations capable of high-speed, secure communications with spacecraft as President Trump accelerates American exploration and development beyond the planet.

Polyverse on Winning Team Supporting $40M Global InfoTek, Inc. Act 2 Task Order “Excalibur” (Polyverse) Global InfoTek wins task order to provide full spectrum cyberspace capabilities to the Air Force

SAIC boss tackles Engility acquisition, space market and revenue goals (Defense News) What's next for SAIC following the news it would buy Engility?

Exciting Times Ahead for Europe's Milsatcom (Via Satellite) Exciting yet somewhat challenging times lie ahead for European milsatcom. In the next decade, the old continent’s key milsatcom players will renew their fleets — introducing new, more powerful systems designed to increase throughput, offer better anti-jam and cyber-security protection, and cover the demand for reliable connectivity for on-the-move applications.

Defense giants bet big on small satellites (Washington Post) Legacy defense contractors like Boeing, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin are building out new business units focused on the science and technology of so-called "cube-sats" as the Defense Department looks to diversify its space-based assets.

Inside the eight desperate weeks that saved SpaceX from ruin (Ars Technica) The company's meteoric rise can be traced to a critical launch from a Pacific isle.

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell: ‘We would launch a weapon to defend the U.S.' ( Shotwell: “Failure is bad. But failure while you’re trying and you’re testing is not terrible. You’re learning from it.”

Inmarsat battles to maintain leadership in connecting the high seas ( Inmarsat’s largest market — connecting ships at sea — is becoming increasingly competitive.

Mercury Systems Receives $6.7M BuiltSECURE Memory Order for Airborne Computing Application (GlobeNewswire News Room) Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY,, announced it received a $6.7 million follow-on order from a leading defense prime contractor for BuiltSECURE™ high-density secure memory devices to be integrated into the command, control and intelligence system of an advanced airborne platform

Mercury Systems Receives $5.0M Order for Rugged Naval Radar Processing Subsystems (Nasdaq) Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY, announced it received a $5 million order from a leading defense prime contractor for rugged, embedded processing subsystems to perform advanced, shipboard radar processing.

AWS could boldly go where no cloud provider has gone before (CRN Australia) Posts, and removes, job adverts for space and satellite staff.

America’s Spaceport Boom Is Outpacing the Need to Go to Space (WIRED) Cities are building spaceports to try to attract aerospace companies, even if no one's launching much these days.

Why NASA’s next rockets might say Budweiser on the side (Washington Post) NASA's administrator has directed the space agency to look at boosting its brand by selling naming rights to rockets and spacecraft.

Products, Services, and Solutions

Russia to stop flying U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station in April, increasing pressure on NASA (The Japan Times) Russia's contract to ferry NASA astronauts to the International Space Station aboard Soyuz rockets will end in April, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov to

Long March 9 will take 140 tons to low-earth orbit starting 2028 ( Long March 9 will take 140 tons to low-earth orbit starting 2028

India to launch two UK satellites on Sunday (The Economic Times) The two satellites belong to Surrey Satellite Technologies Ltd (SSTL), UK, under commercial arrangement with Antrix Corp Ltd - the commercial arm of ISRO

One giant sweep for mankind: satellite cleans up space junk (Times) It’s hard enough trying to keep Earth tidy. But thanks to British innovation, the endless expanses of deep space are a step closer to being clutter-free. A satellite manufactured in the UK has...

SpaceX block 5 reusability results better than expected which could mean costs could eventually drop in half ( SpaceX block 5 reusability results better than expected which could mean costs could eventually drop in half

NASA isn’t going to pay for the BFR, so Musk charts a new course (Ars Technica) "This is a non-trivial amount that will have a material impact on the BFR program."

18 new details about Elon Musk’s redesigned, moon-bound ‘Big F*ing Rocket’ (TechCrunch) Although the spotlight at this week’s SpaceX event was squarely on Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa — the first paying passenger for the company’s nascent space tourism business — Elon Musk also revealed a wealth of new details about the BFR and just how this enormous rocket and spac…

Elon Musk's SpaceX will send Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and 'eight artists' to the moon (The Telegraph) Humans haven't come close to the surface of the moon since the Apollo mission of 1972.

SpaceX says its BFR will fly someone around the Moon; we have questions (Ars Technica) Warning: Wild speculation in this story.

After a decade of testing, propylene rocket fuel may be ready for prime time (Ars Technica) Vector has received a patent for its liquid oxygen-propylene rocket engine.

Northrop Grumman Successfully Completes First Qualification Test of New Rocket Motor for United Launch Alliance Atlas V (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) conducted its first ground test of a 63-inch diameter Graphite Epoxy Motor (GEM 63) today in Promontory, Utah. Utilizing advanced technologies, the company developed this new rocket...

Northrop Grumman Unveils “Vanguard” Open Architecture Radar Solution (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) unveiled its “Vanguard” radar solution; a multi-function, open architecture system that can be easily scaled and applied to multiple missions and platforms. “Our Vanguard solution...

Northrop Grumman Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System Pairs with Sensors and Shooters for ‘Live Air’ Test (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) The Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS) successfully detected, tracked and simulated engagements of air targets during recent testing at the...

Northrop Grumman Looking To Deliver Cyber Command’s First Joint Warfighting Platform (Defense Daily Network) Northrop Grumman is offering a new “weapons system”-like platform for Cyber Command capable of integrating offensive, defensive and command and control mis

Northrop Grumman-Built ICESat-2 Spacecraft Successfully Launched by United Launch Alliance for NASA (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) today announced the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation spacecraft (ICESat-2), built by the company for NASA, successfully launched aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket...

GPS III satellites are nearly ready to launch, but what’s being done on terra firma to support them? (C4ISRNET) Updates to ground-based hardware and software will give the Air Force a head start on testing and operations before the rest of the constellation is in orbit.

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards

Combat robots and cheap drones obscure the hidden triumph of Russia’s wargame (C4ISRNET) The Vostok exercises were a major practice run of Russian C4ISR and logistics.

What the Air Force is learning about multidomain ops (C4ISRNET) After a year of study, here's one key takeaway the Air Force learned about multidomain operations.

The U.S. Puts More Pieces on Europe's WWIII Chessboard (Popular Mechanics) New threats and lessons learned about modern Russian warfare is leading to a hardware update in the new Cold War.

The surprising test ground for DoD information operations (Fifth Domain) The intensity of operations in the Middle East over the past decade-plus has provided an unprecedented learning laboratory for Cyber Command to test concepts and forces.

Don’t @ me, bro: the need for social media on the battlefield (C4ISRNET) Commanders could benefit from having a finer understanding of the social media landscape, including Facebook and Twitter, on the battlefield.

Japanese destroyer shoots down ballistic missile off Hawaii (Defense News) The test, which took place at Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands in Hawaii, was designed to test the installation of the capability in Atago's Aegis combat system.

SES wants fleet of identical, interchangeable satellites ( Instead of buying individual satellites tailored for a specific job at a precise orbital location, fleet operator SES wants homogenous satellites with digitally processed payloads it can reconfigure in orbit to perform any job.

The commercial imagery that will benefit national security challenges (C4ISRNET) The National Reconnaissance Office is taking over a major contract from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, adding to its suite of intelligence services.

Can the intel and defense community conquer data overload? (C4ISRNET) After decades of collecting adversary intelligence, the defense enterprise is coming to grips with the challenge of how to analyze data fast enough to keep it from being useless.

Air Force chief: Light attack is about more than hardware, it’s a boon for intelligence networks (Air Force Times) When a nation wants to join the United States in operations against insurgent forces, a light-attack plane — coupled with an information networking package — is what the U.S. Air Force can offer them.

Design and Innovation

A Silicon Valley Start-Up That Loves the Pentagon (Foreign Policy) Google may balk at military contracts, but Hivemapper founder Ariel Seidman believes working with the U.S. Defense Department can help save lives.

Get ready to ditch miles of cables ― this will give Marines a secure LTE network in the field (Marine Corps Times) The solution could give Marines a two-mile area to link encrypted devices for command posts.

To attract developers, Navy looks to highlight its ‘cool’ problems (C4ISRNET) HACKtheMACHINE seeks to court non-traditional organizations to help solve Navy problems.

Army looks to build stronger tactical cyber teams (Fifth Domain) How is the Army planning on developing forces and capabilities to conduct tactical cyber operations?

Who is the Admiral Rickover of Naval Artificial Intelligence? (War on the Rocks) Admiral Hyman Rickover, “the father of the nuclear Navy,” once stated, “All new ideas begin in a non-conforming mind that questions some tenet of the

Research and Development

Researchers develop invisibly thin spray-on antennas (Help Net Security) Drexel researchers develop spray-on antennas that perform as well as those being used in mobile devices, wireless routers and portable transducers.

DARPA contract aims to design circuits in months, not years (C4ISRNET) DARPA wants to change the game for high-efficiency circuitry.

DARPA Wants to Find Botnets Before They Attack ( The defense agency awarded a contract to develop a tool that scours the internet for dormant online armies.

The Pentagon plans to spend $2 billion to put more artificial intelligence into its weaponry (The Verge) Officials say they want computers to be capable of explaining their decisions to military commanders

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation

The Right Way to Achieve Security in Space (Council on Foreign Relations) The United States needs to champion international cooperation and work toward collective rather than unilateral security in outer space. 

Trump Eases Cyber Ops, But Safeguards Remain: Joint Staff (Breaking Defense) Fast doesn’t meant out of control. Brig. Gen. Grynkewich took pains to emphasize that civilian oversight remains intact and the Pentagon’s role will be rigorously defined under the new National Security Presidential Memorandum NSPM-13.

New cyber authority could make ‘all the difference in the world’ (Fifth Domain) Under a new policy, known as National Security Presidential Memorandum 13, the president can delegate certain cyber authorities to the Secretary of Defense for particular missions.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has some advice for the Air Force (Defense News) The world's richest man is also a wealth of helpful information.

Corporations Are Ready to Build Moon Villages, Our Laws Are Not (Motherboard) Moon base concepts are being developed by federal space agencies and private spaceflight companies. What legal, economic, and social frameworks should apply to these communities?

Has a cyberattack constituted an act of war? Probably not yet (Fifth Domain) No NATO nation has suffered a cyber attack big enough to be an act of war -- yet.

In Cyberwar, There are No Rules (Foreign Policy) Only digital Geneva Conventions can head off cyberanarchy and prevent mass disaster.

A Million Mistakes a Second  (Foreign Policy) Ultrafast computing is critical to modern warfare. But it also ensures a lot could go very wrong, very quickly. 

This Is China's Way of Warmaking (The National Interest) Beijing's military wants to sow paralysis in an enemy system-of-systems for long enough to accomplish its goals—that way it will not need to bother trying to annihilate its adversary.

China is losing the new Cold War (Nikkei Asian Review) Beijing seemingly set to follow Soviet Union in doomed arms race with the US

Iran’s Terms to Reopen Nuclear Talks? Trump Has to Back Down (New York Times) President Hassan Rouhani of Iran said Monday he would consider new talks with Washington only if President Trump reversed himself and honored the 2015 nuclear accord.

Yes, Iran’s Economy Is Suffering—But It’s Not All About the U.S. (Foreign Affairs) Although U.S. President Donald Trump has hurt the Iranian economy, the unexpected depth of the rial’s decline owes less to U.S. policy than to poor decision-making in Tehran and structural weaknesses in Iran’s economy. Will Iranians urge their leaders to give in to U.S. demands, as the Trump administration hopes, or will they give up on electoral politics and relations with the rest of the world, as Iran’s hard-liners hope?

Is the Iran Deal Finally Dead? (Foreign Policy) Europe’s frantic efforts to save the nuclear pact at the U.N. probably won’t work.

Iran claims US wants to overthrow its government as Bolton threatens ‘hell to pay’ (Military Times) Iranian leader says threats and sanctions won't work, urges U.S. to join multilateral talks.

US, India seal military communications pact, plan more exercises (The Straits Times) India and the United States signed an accord on secure military communications that both sides hailed as a breakthrough on Thursday (Sept 6), possibly opening the way for sales of sensitive US military equipment to India.. Read more at

Inter-Korean Talks Are More Than Just a "Good Thing" (Foreign Affairs) For the first time since South Korean leader Moon Jae-in took office last May, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made a credible offer to open up the relationship with Seoul.

At UN, Trump says 2nd summit with North Korea likely ‘quite soon’ (Military Times) Confronting the dangers of North Korea’s nuclear threat, President Donald Trump arrived at the United Nations on Monday striking a far less ominous tone than a year ago, announcing he likely will hold a second summit with Kim Jong Un “quite soon.”

North Korean leader sends Trump a letter suggesting another meeting (Deutsche Welle) North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has sent US President Donald Trump a letter suggesting they schedule another meeting. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters it was a warm letter.

How the Air Force plans to use space to project power in the 21st century (Defense News) One reason space is so important not just to the Air Force, but all military services, is that space assets enable multidomain operations that are becoming the norm in the modern warfare.

Air Force secretary: Space Force will cost $13B in new expenses (Defense News) The price for a Space Force? It's going up.

New Space Force price tag fuels Capitol Hill skeptics (Defense News) Space Force's estimated $13 billion price tag is not winning it any new friends.

Top US Air Force official is now on board with Trump’s Space Force plan (Defense News) One of the Air Force's biggest Space Force critics has reversed her stance.

Former chief of U.S. Space Command applauds restoring it, with some caveats (Aerospace America) Richard Myers says he does not see the need for a Space Force

Panel Asks: What Problem Does a U.S. Space Force Solve? (USNI News) The question around a push for new Pentagon organization to oversee the military’s interest in space is defining, “what’s the problem we’re trying to solve” a group of national security agreed on Monday. “There isn’t clarity at all what the problem is,” Sean O’Keefe, a former secretary of the Navy and NASA administrator, said at …

The Sixth Service:What the Reorganization of Special Operations Forces Can Teach Us About Space Force (War on the Rocks) “At the end of the day, establishing a new department or Service would be the most significant defense reform since those precipitated by the landmark

Is the Space Force Necessary? If Done Correctly, Yes (CyberDB) In response to the perceptions that adversaries are already weaponizing space, the United States announced the creation of its Space Force...

Experts: A separate military service for space may be too much too soon ( Former deputy defense secretary Bob Work: “There’s never been a thing that Congress doesn’t feel can be solved by reorganizing.”

Space Force? Tell it to these soldiers who are already working in space operations (Army Times) The battalion deploys teams with Army divisions to better integrate space assets on the battlefield.

Pentagon Officials Developing Space-Based Missiles, Disregarding Critics Who Say The U.S. Can’t Do It (Washington Free Beacon) The Pentagon is studying the deployment of space-based missiles and new sensors to counter the growing threat of high-speed missile attacks.

US Navy must be able to compete in ‘gray zone’ conflict, says top service officer (Defense News) China and Russia have employed tactics to harass neighbors and challenge the U.S. Navy.

Esper: Army is considering more electronic warfare teams, longer tours (Stars and Stripes) The Army is adding more personnel to its electronic warfare and air defense teams to keep up with emerging global threats, Army Secretary Mark Esper said following discussions with servicemembers and officials in Germany on Monday.

The Marines want to test all recruits for cyber skills (Fifth Domain) The test provides another tool for talent management in an increasingly modern battlefield.

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement

Army Wrongly Ignored Palantir In $206M Deal, Fed. Circ. Says (Law360) The U.S. Army’s decision to shut data analytics firm Palantir Technologies out of a $206 million intelligence system procurement violated a statute requiring federal agencies to give preference to commercial companies in contracting whenever possible, the Federal Circuit ruled, putting teeth into the largely untested law.

DoD inspector general is auditing Army’s future missile defense plans (Defense News) After the Army has worked for years to bring about new missile defense capability, the Pentagon's inspector general started an audit of the Army's Integrated Air-and-Missile Defense System to see if it's on track.

The Air Force is determining ‘the appropriate process’ for Elon Musk smoking pot (The Verge) There’s no investigation right now, though

Compiled and published by the CyberWire editorial staff. Views and assertions in source articles are those of the authors, not CyberWire, Inc. or Cosmic AES

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