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Integrating Air, Space, and Cyberspace: Towards Cross-Domain Operations

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Technical Report

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Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States

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In December 2005, the United States Air Force USAF released a new mission statement, which concluded with the phrase fly and fight in Air, Space and Cyberspace following a 2008 update it is now fly, fight, and air, space, and cyberspace. Yet, three years later, it is not clear we have a well defined construct for fighting and winning in the cyber domain as the mission statement would require. Historically, our cyber efforts have focused on defending our systems and networks as they perform vital, but supporting, tasks for operations in the natural domains air, land, maritime, and space. However, as information technology becomes increasingly pervasive, inexpensive and capable, the USAF must clearly articulate the ways cyber power can be used as a means to achieve operational and strategic ends. It is unlikely that any future conflict will be fought and won completely in the cyber domain and equally unlikely that cyber power can go it alone and achieve major military or political objectives, except perhaps in the most unusual circumstances. Therefore USAF cyber power must be fully integrated with, not separated from, air and space power and used in concert with actions in the natural domain to achieve our ends.

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