Presented in partnership with Cyber Conflict Studies Association, retired Air Force General Michael Hayden, a former director of both the NSA and CIA, discusses with cyber security expert Jason Healey the rapidly evolving role played by technology in military, intelligence and counterintelligence operations.
Since the dawn of mankind, warfare—much like civilization itself—has rapidly evolved. In the twentieth century, those that once ruled land and sea were often outdueled by those that would own the skies.
And now, a new domain has emerged – cyberspace. An invention of the American people, the Internet has given us unprecedented freedoms to share and access information, to communicate with loved ones, and to conduct commerce and business. But it also provides an environment for conflict, espionage, and even a new type of warfare.
And in the cyber domain, it may not be the warfare between nation states that we have to fear, or the news of cyber-attacks on companies and people, but rather the potential of a stable state of chaos – a violent place like Mogadishu or Somalia where nobody is safe and where nothing can thrive. In this dark scenario, the Internet as we know it would cease to exist—as would our current way of life.
To protect our freedoms and to preserve an open, safe cybersphere, we may have to demand of ourselves, our government, businesses, and even our military, a level of collaboration and transparency that might be uncomfortable for all. And to win this fight, each of us living in the world’s most powerful democracy may be called upon to protect the very thing we created in ways not seen since victory gardens or rationing of World War II—when everyone had to contribute to the war effort at one level or another.
Michael V. Hayden is a retired four-star Air Force General and expert in military intelligence, counterintelligence, and strategy. A distinguished graduate of the ROTC program and Duquesne University, Hayden entered active duty service in 1969—ultimately serving as Commander of the Air Intelligence Agency and Director of the Joint Command and Control Warfare Center, both headquartered at Kelly Air Force Base, TX. In addition to various senior staff positions across the world, Hayden has served as Director of the National Security Agency (1999-2005) and the Central Intelligence Agency (2006-2009), and was named the first Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence in 2005. Hayden is now a Distinguished Visiting Professor at George Mason University and a principal at The Chertoff Group, a security consultancy.
Jason Healey is the newly appointed president of the Cyber Conflict Studies Association, and director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative of the Atlantic Council, focusing on international cooperation, competition and conflict in cyberspace. Previously he has worked cyber issues since the 1990s as a policy director at the White House, executive director at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong and New York, vice chairman of the FS-ISAC (the information sharing and security organization for the finance sector) and a U.S. Air Force intelligence officer. He is a board member of Cyber Conflict Studies Association, lecturer in cyber policy at Georgetown University and author of A Fierce Domain: Conflict in Cyberspace, 1986 to 2012.