THE SECRET SPACE PROGRAM IMPLICATIONS OF THE JEDI CONTRACTMay 30, 2019
This has been a week when my normal routine of blogging and pre-scheduling blogs has been thrown right out the window. I've had to reschedule a couple of blogs, and just throw out a couple (which I've never done before), to blog about things that readers have sent me that had to go immediately to the top of the list.
Well, that's the case here, when S.H. found an article about the Pentagon's (or as we like to call it here, the Pentagram's) much-hyped JEDI contract. JEDI, in case you didn't know, stands for Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure. And if you've been following all this, you've been breathlessly waiting to see if the US government would award the contract to Mr. Gates - who has officially "apologized" for the Common Core fiasco - or to Mr. Bezos, who wants to burn books, move everything to "the cloud", and let the Clowns In America control it all. In short, JEDI is about moving the defense communications (and, one might add, archives) from "down here" to "up there." Now, everyone knows what I think about ebook platforms and the dangers they pose, so I won't rehearse that again here.
But if you're like me, or indeed, like S.H. who shared the article, you've probably had this uneasy queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach about this whole JEDI contract business, without really knowing why. It's like trying to grab a bar of wet, lathered-up soap with wet hands; whatever "it" is that is disturbing about it, it seems constantly to elude our grasp.
But when S.H. shared this article, something in it popped out, and many things that were blurry and nebulous came into clear focus, so much so that I abandoned my original blog schedule to blog about this one:
There were four paragraphs in this article that brought many - though not all - of my misgivings about this subject into focus. Three of them are right up front, and one of those paragraphs comes a little later. Here they are:
At a heavily attended industry day, top defense officials from the Pentagon’s Cloud Executive Steering Group described the acquisition process for the massive cloud migration that will stretch across the entire expanse of DOD, focused primarily on commercial platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings. The 10-year contract will likely be worth billions, though a specific price ceiling hasn’t been floated publicly yet.
The time has come for the Pentagon to flip the expectations about its use of cloud, said Chris Lynch, director of the Defense Digital Service team leading the procurement.
“We want to bend the Department of Defense around the commercial cloud,” Lynch said, meaning the department wants to adapt to embrace the existing strengths of the expansive commercial cloud and not limit that with excessive customization. “I can’t make that point enough. We want it here, and we want it out in those austere environments. We want to bring this to the warfighter.”
The cloud is “the type of technology driving the change that we in the DOD need to embrace,” Lord added. “It’s driven by the private sector globally at a scale which the DOD cannot compete with. … If we leverage commercially available cloud solutions, we will have the foundational technology in place that we need to deliver better software to our warfighters faster, with better security and at a lower cost. And that software will be easier to maintain.” (Emphasis added)
Now there's a couple of things to note here:
(1) The Pentagram is turning even more of its communications functions over to corporations 'in the cloud', or to put it in their terms, they "want to bend the Department of Defense around the commercial cloud."
(2) Those functions are a component of its warmaking capability.
It's that "bending around" that grabbed my attention, for it is a euphemistic admission for something that I've been maintaining all along that would inevitably come with the commercialization of space: the weaponization of space. It's an admission that those assets "up there" need to be defended, and this language is meant both to reveal, and conceal, that purpose at one and the same time.
But I also strongly suspect this language implies something else much more significant, namely, an admission that the capability already exists to protect those assets. The reason for this conclusion is that the Pentagon would hardly move much of its C4 capability - command, control, communications, and cyber-warfare - to "the commercial cloud" if the means of protecting those capabilities were not already operational. Otherwise, the whole venture would simply expose the American military to a single unprotected point of failure - the cloud - jeopardizing strategic and operational capabilities on a global basis, and waste a lot of money in the process. To draw somewhat clumsy analogies, it would be like building a dreadnought during the First World War, putting the best and most capable ordnance on it, and leaving the entire expensive ship completely unarmored, or like building an unarmored tank. That "bending" of the Department of Defense around the cloud is thus, in my high octane speculative opinion, a tacit admission that the protection problem is, from the Pentagram's point of view, "solved" and that the technologies to do the protecting are already operational, hence, Mr. Trump's "space force."
In other words, this whole move to "the cloud" is thus a major component of the secret space program.
And there's another disturbing implication, for the cloud is about information, and its control. And if the technologies are extant and operational, then that means information has been put into lock down.
See you on the flip side...