Smart Ideas: Forget Space Force. We Need a Cyber Force.

Navy Rear Admiral William E. Leigher
AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty
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Aug. 15, 2018, 8 p.m.

U.S. needs a cyber force

James Stavridis, writing for Bloomberg Opinion

The proposal for a Space Force is smart. The arguments against it are similar to those launched against the creation of an Air Force in the middle of the 20th century: “We don’t need to create another bureaucracy; we are doing this just fine with the Army and Navy each having its own operations; this isn’t really a new theater of operations, only a zone in which maritime and land strategies achieve their objectives.” Ultimately, these arguments don't hold water. We’ll be safer “with true specialists” focused on their zone of operations. The same is true of cyber. “Military activity in the cyber realm is currently a pick-up game, with each of the services offering a small cadre of cyber warriors on a temporary basis to the Pentagon’s newest combatant command, U.S. Cyber Command.” Plus, the cyberworld is already highly militarized, with Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea expanding their asymmetric capabilities daily. Dedicating “5,000 to 10,000” personnel under “a unified command with a unique service culture” makes sense. “We are being attacked from cyberspace right now, and that demands an immediate response.”

A political realignment in Minnesota

Timothy P. Carney, writing for the Washington Examiner

“Trump showed us something about Minnesota’s electorate that we hadn’t seen before: A sizable portion of the white working class there wasn’t so gung-ho about the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, as much as they might have disliked the GOP. When Trump … was atop the ballot, many of those voters pulled the Republican lever. It was almost enough to swing the state.” When Tim Pawlenty was reelected as governor in 2006, by contrast, he “dominated suburban areas and broke even in rural areas.” The question on Tuesday was which Republican electorate would show up: “The suburban, center-right, educated party of Pawlenty, or the rural, working-class populist party of Trump?” Jeff Johnson’s upset win signals that Pawlenty’s coalition no longer exists. “The party of Pawlenty has dissolved, with many of those voters going to the Democrats, while many lower-income, less educated folks who were Democrats last decade have become Republicans.” It remains to be seen if this new coalition will hold up during the general election, “when Trump isn’t on the ballot.”

Clarify rules of the road for auto industry

Charles Hernick, writing for RealClearEnergy

The Trump administration’s proposed auto-emissions rule “would freeze existing [fuel economy] and greenhouse-gas emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks," and would “revoke California’s five-year-old ‘waiver’ allowing the state to implement its own stringent greenhouse-gas standards, Low Emission Vehicle, and Zero Emission Vehicle programs. Finally, it would restrict programs in more than a dozen other states that have followed California’s lead.” These new standards will inevitably be challenged in court, and will “add uncertainty, risk, and cost to the U.S. auto market.” This makes competing in “aggressive international markets” extremely difficult for U.S. manufacturers. “Periodic course corrections will be necessary, but those corrections should be incremental and not include steep 'ramp ups' or 'freezes' in standards.” Remember, fuel-economy standards were enacted during the 1970s in response to an oil embargo. With domestic oil production at record highs, the U.S. should capture “the highest value for U.S. oil and gas resources in high-growth international markets,” while leading on technical innovation at home. There is “opportunity to help bring a new generation of low- and zero-emission vehicles on the road, ensure consumers get more out of their auto purchases, and protect both human health and the environment.”

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