echo April 26, 2018 7:04 AM

He has a short haircut and lots of colourful ribbons on his chest for turning up. This is all I know! The last person I am aware of brought in as a political appointment from nowhere as the great white hope rode a pent up wave of reform and went through the box ticks as far as backpeddling consensus would allow but otherwise settled into a conservative pile of useless mud of slogans and ass covering. It was a nice career bump but now what? You could hear a pin drop.

I really don’t know if “cyber” attacks (people still use the word “cycber”?) really are a military thing are they when you stop and think about it? It’s just a lot of hot air and silliness in binary form. The whole stance is aggressive and scoops up events which might be better handled as criminal or perhaps trade issues.

On global balance of power issues the US has invested heavily in surveillance whereas the Russians are asymmetrical and tend to probe defences. While both have aggressive uses both strategies are also part of de-escalation and building trust.

Grant Hodges April 26, 2018 8:02 AM

When you don’t know anything about a political appointment, the appropriate thing is to not say anything about the political appointment. Pre-emptive criticism sounds desperate and needy.

BF Skinner April 26, 2018 8:17 AM

Well. . .we’ll soon know if he’s acceptable to the Kremlin by the silence from Wikileaks.

(required) April 26, 2018 10:12 AM

Well Grant, as nobody has actually criticized him yet, your criticism is a bit pre-emptive isn’t it?

Jaded April 26, 2018 11:37 AM

In the U.S. military, one transitions from hands-on technical work to the management of personnel and budgets while rising through the chain of command. If he can do those things well, then he will be fine leading those who secure cybers, attack cybers, etc. Admiral Rogers Neighborhood will receive a new nameplate and should continue on without a hitch.

That being stated, those in the District mainly want to know if he has ever discriminated against particular cybers; participated in the segregation of Internet tubes; been around under-age humans; consumes red meat; or if he still kicks his dog.

unbob April 26, 2018 12:04 PM

@Grant Hodges

When you don’t know anything about a political appointment, the appropriate thing is to not say anything about the political appointment.

When you’re an expert in a field, and someone comes out of nowhere, sometimes “who the hell is this guy?” is warranted.

Your disapproval is noted.

RSaunders April 26, 2018 12:46 PM


When you’re an expert in a field, and someone comes out of nowhere …

Gen Nakasone isn’t “coming out of nowhere”. He’s been command positions at US Cyber Command since 2015. Before that he was staff to Gen Alexander. He’s not coming from nowhere, he’s coming from Fort Meade.

Clive Robinson April 26, 2018 1:19 PM

With regards,

    I know nothing about him.

Nor would it appear do other people outside of an otherwise closed community.

From the little we do know and the current Presidential direction of inflicting costs on cyber-adversaries it does not look good.

In the abscence of effective policing here are two main ways you can keep nuisance neighbors out of your house. The first is the vigilanty method of break into their home and “Hang em High”, which wins you no favours with anyone else, and might get you swinging from a rope. The second is to build better doors and locks on your house, which whilst it makes your own life a little harder rarely if ever gives you cause to regret your actions at a later date.

The new “Four Star” appears to have a history of serious offense not defence, which suggests more of the same, which as we know is realy not currently working (which might just be the real cause behind the NSA moral issue). Which suggests there might be the Einstein definition of madness at play up on the hill.

There is the old joke about accounts that there is never enough money to cover lost cause sunk costs, and at some point hopefully somebody will wake up to this in Government Auditing.

Thus whilst there are several ways the Four Star can go I hope he will avoid the grandstanding “easy wins” of going vigilanty on the neighbours because it’s at best a job creation scheme without the people to fill the posts, at worst it’s totally ineffective and will cause the neighbours to “gang up” for their own protection, thus revenge.

The first sensible step as all soldiers should know is to set up a good defensive position then build up your defenses appropriately for the non combatants that will deter all but a few attackers.

Having done the soldiers job of “winning the war” it is then time to hand over to the politicians “to win the peace” which requires the equivalent of good deplomacy and international cooperation and policing.

Unfortunatly history tells us that those who believe they are “super powers” also believe they should be “first amongst equalls” and “like Ceaser’s Wife beyond suspicion” thus above justice, thus free to do what they want… It’s the reason the League of Nation’s failed and why the UN in many respects is a failure as well. Oh and millions get killed, injured or have their ability to live destroyed, with a lucky few becoming refugees with an unknown and uncertain future, that can and has led us to some of the terrorist issues we have today.

Thus we should demand better of our politicians such that history does not repeate endlessly. Because history has shown us that there is only one way for peace to prevail and society to move forward and that is opportunity from fair and equitable trade, with efficient policing to stop and sanction abuses.

Which unfortunatly is the antithesis of the current US policy of “grab it all” and “attack it all” at endless and increasing cost to the US tax payer. A situation that is neither supportable or winnable in the long term.

Dan H April 26, 2018 1:36 PM

@Clive Robinson
“increasing cost to the US tax payer”

The largest cost to the US taxpayer is health care and Social Security. Those combined with interest on the national debt account for 72% of the US federal budget. ~$700 billion for Medicare and almost that amount for Medicaid with Medicare projected to be $1.2 trillion in the coming years. Medicare covers 50-60 million and Medicaid covers about 70 million. Out of a population of about 330 million which is the world’s third largest population. Democrats want a universal health care. A third are covered for $1.4 trillion now, and you want to raise it to $5 trillion per year for all? The US federal budget is $6 trillion. Who is going to pay for it?

Making matters worse for the federal budget is that nearly half of all those working don’t pay federal income tax. Of course liberals will say they pay other taxes, but of the 50% who don’t pay taxes, 26% have a zero tax liability. The top 20% of wage earners pay about 85% of the taxes; the top 21%-50% pay about 14% of the taxes; and the bottom 50% pay about 2%. In the 1970s the bottom 50% paid about 12% of taxes.

Class warfare is definitely at work in the United States by progressives. Finland just ended their guaranteed national income, but the other day, one Democratic hopeful here in the US has stated he wants a $1000 base national income. Studies have shown if the “rich” are taxed at 100% it will fund the government for about 120 days. Who is going to pay for this?

Joe Nobody April 26, 2018 6:03 PM

As an Army Officer, I’m always a wee bit suspect of an Armor or Artillery officer with a Bronze Star on his/her uniform. People with Bronze or Silver Star’s go off into harms way… Artillery, not so much. Armor, maybe…

Hmm April 26, 2018 9:51 PM

“Does his Japanese heritage upset you? Wrong sort of diversity? I yes, write so!”

-Where did that come from? That’s just a weird thing to lead in with based on nothing. Dame desu yo.

“Your brief comment is extremely nasty and disgraceful.”

Are you referring to “I know nothing about him.” ??? That’s all Bruce said AFAIK.

Echo mentioned his military haircut and ribbons. It’s an observation signifying of nothing, and he even denotes that by saying he doesn’t know anything about the man. These aren’t really attacks.

Certainly not “extremely nasty and disgraceful” attacks. Certainly not racist attacks.

I don’t know why you felt attacked to be honest. It doesn’t make sense from my side of the computer.

Dan H April 27, 2018 7:42 AM

@Joe Nobody
“People with Bronze or Silver Star’s go off into harms way… Artillery, not so much.”

The men at FSB Mary Ann on 28 March 1971, Quang Tin Province, South Vietnam; FSB Illingworth on 1 April 1970, northwest of Tay Ninh, South Vietnam near the Cambodian border; and other FSB’s would strongly disagree with you.

Hmm April 27, 2018 12:00 PM


That’s how I read it, silly and irreverent. (And ‘grats on having a gender, I didn’t mean to guess..)

Bruce’s opening was uncharacteristically short, kind of a cliffhanger of a sort. It draws perhaps unintentional scrutiny or implies distrust somehow that the author probably didn’t intend, and I say that because Bruce tends to go deep when he’s got something to bring to light. He’s not one to malign or impugn integrity without meaning to do so and making the specific case for it. Certainly he did not. Certainly there was not even a hint of racist intent, or any real reason to assume that drove the blog entry. It wasn’t one of his better entries, albeit brevity as wit, but it did report a news item and leave discussion to the rest of us. Bruce is busy sometimes and this is a blog. He has books to write and members of Congress to.. tolerate… I think he may be more mindful to avoid ambiguous cliffhangers in the future, but we can safely assume he meant no overt disrespect.

The blog has the regular attention of a bunch of folks who are none too pleased about the surveillance state and are distrusting of the military oversight inherently baked into that. To the extent that Nakamone is an unknown entity personally, he still now represents that state effort professionally and inherits all the slings and arrows. It is of course unfair to judge him by his predecessors, however there is little reason AFAIK to expect Nakamone would be making any significant changes to these things either. But who knows, perhaps time will prove us wrong and his name will become a household staple as a champion of well-measured individual privacy rights – I’ll begin holding my breath right away.

“Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.” -RWE

echo April 27, 2018 1:34 PM


Yes, Bruce strikes me as a decent man who also needs to be careful of managing his business interests and reputation. I believe the situation is as you say (and very similar to the UK example I was thinking of and the discussion and outcomes and ongoing issues surrounding this).

echo April 27, 2018 1:52 PM

The US military seems to be coming unstuck when operating against Russian supplied electronic warfare equipment. There is also a US attempt to define the radio spectrum as a domain of warfare on par with “cyberspace”.
“Right now in Syria we are operating in the most aggressive EW environment on the planet from our adversaries. They are testing us everyday, knocking our communications down, disabling our EC-130s, etcetera,” Gen. Raymond Thomas told an audience of some 2,000 intelligence professionals.

Bacon has advocated that the radio spectrum – where EW operates – should be officially designated a domain of warfare co-equal to land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace. “Folks refuse to say the electromagnetic spectrum is a domain to dominate and have superiority in. I think that’s a problem,” he said. “When I ask them, they go, well, it is true, we know it’s true but we don’t want to say it because they think it means DoD’s going to spend more money.”

Hmm April 27, 2018 1:54 PM

I said Nakamone instead of Nakasone. Hopefully Paul won’t take it persona–ETH0–CARRIER LOST–

65535 April 28, 2018 9:32 AM

Will Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone put a stop to US Navy ships colliding with civilian cargo ships? That would be a small step forward. These collisions are deadly and expensive to repair.

I see Paul Nakasone was promoted by Admiral Rogers and confirmed in May 2018. That is not a long time.

See: USS Fitzgerald and MV ACX Crystal collision


65535 May 7, 2018 1:59 AM

@ echo

“At least the US navy doesn’t park submarines on islands like the British navy.”


Clive Robinson May 8, 2018 8:36 AM

@ echo, 65536,

At least the US navy doesn’t park submarines on islands like the British navy.

That’s because their carrier groups like to play chicken with lighthouses… Or turn around in shipping channels and crash into other ships…

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