Noting that “the realities of the world have changed dramatically since the creation of the Air Force in 1947,” the US Air Force has released a new mission statement:
The mission of the United States Air Force is to deliver sovereign options for the defense of the United States of America and its global interests — to fly and fight in Air, Space, and Cyberspace.
According to the USAF, the term “cyberspace” includes network security, data transmission and the sharing of information. My guess is that they mean to focus on the USAF’s own network infrastructure, not all of cyberspace. Still, it reminds us of the challenges of Internet governance and cyber-security1, and the debate over whether the US military should engage in cyber-warfare.
1A few years ago I wrote a short paper on a related issue for First Monday: The Tensions of Securing Cyberspace: The Internet, State Power & The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace