Switching Focus

The emerging prevalence of cyber threats is but one “expression” of the new national security dilemma of globalization, said retired Gen. Mike Hayden, former NSA director and CIA head. “This era of globalization has pushed power down below the level of state actors,” he told attendees at AFA’s 2013 Air and Space Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Monday. “Most of us in this room have spent our professional careers worrying about the power of nation states, and if we keep our focus on that as our primary task, I feel as if we are going to miss a great deal of things,” said Hayden. The United States is still “playing the game” with an old national security structure, he said. “It’s been 65 years [since] the Air Force, the CIA, the National Security Council, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were established,” he said. Those organizations are “hardwired” to deal with nation states, but are now bending to “apply to the new flavor of threats” coming from non-nation states, sub-state actors, and individuals,” said Hayden. “The world is very different. It’s very globalized. It’s very interconnected,” he said.