American Infrastructure Improvement Presents a Win-Win-Win Opportunity.
Discussions about infrastructure rarely mention national security. Discussions about cyber-security rarely mention infrastructure.
Unfortunately, this disconnect neglects the codependency of the two critical components enabling the United States to function as a whole. Digital systems depend on infrastructure, and infrastructure depends on digital systems. Observe:
Interstate system Fiberoptic high-speed internet infrastructure
The Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)-- the systems managing national infrastructure- were developed before the internet, and because of this, they lack cyber security features. To learn more about the vulnerability of pre-internet infrastructure, look into “Stuxnet”, the malicious software responsible for wrecking a uranium enrichment plant in Iran.
Presently, United States, in 2017 is as vulnerable to Stuxnet-like malware as Iran was in 2009. While the majority of policymakers and pundits overlook this critical issue, Navy veteran Shawn VanDiver suggests that these vulnerabilities present a “Golden Opportunity” for our government, veterans, and the nation as a whole.
VanDiver suggests that if the incoming administration truly wishes to redevelop infrastructure, create jobs, and serve veterans, the obvious answer is a mass deployment of returning servicemen and women into the domestic field as cyber-structural nation-building experts.
“As veterans, we know that some of our brothers in sisters in uniform struggle to find purpose or a new career after their separation from the military. The fact is that veterans have the skills and background necessary to do these jobs. Military bases are cities unto themselves and men and women in uniform are responsible for everything from service industry jobs to project management for the maintenance and repair of infrastructure. We can hit both proverbial birds with this infrastructure improvement stone.” ~ Shawn VanDiver
VanDiver emphasizes how this redeployment would be a deeply rewarding opportunity for returning veterans to use their military skills in a way that enriches, their lives, their community, and their nation.
Shawn VanDiver is a Navy veteran and Co-Director of the Truman National Security Project San Diego Chapter. Follow him on Twitter at @ShawnJVanDiver
To connect with and welcome service people returning home, visit teamrwb.org.