Well, I was asking for some action, and boy did I get it. Ever since the President gave the 29 May 2009 speech on cyber security, people like me have been bemoaning the fact that there seemed to be darned little meat being added to the (well-crafted) bones that were the original cyber strategy. In the last week or so, we got plenty.
Last week, the White House sent a comprehensive legislative proposal to the Hill, in answer to Majority Leader Reid’s (and many others) request that the Administration weigh in on where they wanted to go with regard to cyber. The proposal had a lot of meat. It did not write the bill for the legislators, but it gave a very good view of the main components the White House thought needed to be included.
OK, there were no Earth shattering surprises, but I for one was hoping there would not be any. Surprises usually don’t work well in Washington. This began the normal DC dance of “experts” commenting and subject matter experts writing and briefing on what it all might mean. Heck, most of us haven’t even had the chance to brief our bosses yet.
Then on Monday, the Administration gathered leaders from multiple cabinet departments and released a Cyber International Affairs initiative, calling for cooperation and sharing with allies, friends, and anyone interested in progress and openness in the cyber realm. At a cyber event on Tuesday, several folks were bleary eyed from analyzing the legislative proposal and were lamenting that they now needed to dive in and divine the meaning of the Foreign Affairs document for their partners and clients.
Why after so long a silence (OK, not silence, but relative quiet) did the Administration load up two major initiatives so close together? It actually seems to have been a pretty darned effective tactic. While lots of folks have specific concerns with either or both the documents, hardly anyone is carping at all. Frankly, the Administration’s “blast” has left potential critics dazed and off balance.
Give credit to the political management skills of the Obama Team. It will not take too long before the detailed analysis and dissection occurs, but for now, the White House has the initiative and the momentum; kudos to them.
Now I have to get back to my analysis. There is a lot to do.