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Here is the latest edition of my column at Foreign Policy:
Writing in Small Wars Journal, Gregory Conti and Jen Easterly, both U.S. Army lieutenant colonels, discussed the problems the military faces recruiting "cyber warriors" into the newly created Cyber Command, which aims to "conduct full-spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to ... ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries."
Yet Conti and Easterly note that Cyber Command will recruit from an already tiny pool of cybersavvy talent, a pool made even smaller by Cyber Command's requirement that its soldiers pass security clearances, polygraph examinations, and drug screening. Meanwhile, Cyber Command will have to compete with the likes of Google for talented techies who may not find military culture all that inviting. It should come as no surprise to eventually find Cyber Command mostly staffed by highly-paid civilian contractors rather than uniformed soldiers or career civil servants.
Cyber Command's recruiting difficulties are a microcosm of the broader troubles the military, especially the Army, now faces. The all-volunteer military has been a success and should be retained. But evidence continues to mount that the Army has grown as big as it can under the all-volunteer system. If circumstances ever required a significantly larger Army, Army leaders and U.S. society would have to get used to an Army of much lower quality at the margin. Deploying such a force, especially into stability operations, would entail taking greater risks and paying higher costs. http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2010/08/this-week-at-war-uncle-sam-wan/