The U.S. Army's Next Big Challenge: Training Civilians as Cyber Warriors

"Past experiences with turning civilians into instant military assets show why the practice isn’t the Easy Button the Army might desire."

Have Plan A:

Any program to recruit unique talent has to be paired with a human-capital program that consciously recruits and retains a workforce with all the critical skills, knowledge, and attributes the organization needs. Making victory contingent on your ability to cast a net and catch a few people with bright ideas is a mug’s game.

Hopefully, when General Brown threw out his notion of tapping the Google generation, he had in mind something more thought out than just giving a few hackers helmets and the passwords to the NSA.

What the armed forces could use is a visionary, adaptive, disciplined-but-creative way to tap private cyber-talent, paired with a plan for a robust home-grown team of military cyber warriors.

James Jay Carafano is The Heritage Foundation’s vice president for national security and foreign policy studies and the author of “Wiki at War: Conflict in a Socially Networked World.”

Image: Flickr/U.S. Army/CC by 2.0

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