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Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn outlined the Pentagon’s plans for a new cyber defense strategy on Wednesday and said the final strategy will be released by the end of the year.

However, the Pentagon’s No. 2 official made no mention during a meeting with bloggers on whether the U.S. military will be conducting offensive cyberwarfare, a strategy that many experts think is the most effective way to defend computers and networks from cyber-attacks.

Mr. Lynn told a meeting of bloggers that the five “pillars” of the new cyber defense strategy are:

• Recognizing cyberspace as a new domain for warfare.

• Adopting “active defense” to extend current defenses beyond “hygiene” measures, such as anti-virus software and intrusion detection.

• Extending protection for critical infrastructure such as power grids, banking and telecommunications networks.

• Seeking “collective” cyber defenses with foreign countries.

• Maintaining and exploiting U.S. technological dominance.

“We’re reflecting our judgment that we really think the front lines of national security have been redefined,” Mr. Lynn said. “Any major conflict that we see going forward is going to have some element of cyberwarfare, and we need to make sure we’ve prepared and developed our military capabilities to sustain that.”

Critics of U.S. cybersecurity and warfare strategy say the U.S. government remains mired in legal impediments that arise from defining military, intelligence and domestic security operations.

Marines and gays

Gen. James T. Conway, the Marines’ soon-to-retire commandant, says there is widespread opposition in the Corps to ending the ban on open gays in the ranks. He said many Marines do not want to bunk in the same room as an open homosexual, reports special correspondent Rowan Scarborough.

But if the Democratic-run Congress and President Obama change the law, the military’s most conservative-minded branch will have to adapt, Gen. Conway, who retires this fall, told reporters at the Pentagon.

He has been the most outspoken opponent among the Joint Chiefs in fighting repeal, a campaign promise of Mr. Obama’s.

“We recruit a certain type of young American, pretty macho guy or gal, that is willing to go fight and perhaps die for their country,” Gen. Conway said, when asked why surveys show the Marines opposed repeal the most.

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