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Cyberspace Human Capital: Building a Cadre Today to Win Tomorrows War

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

Air Command and Staff College, Air University Maxwell Air Force Base United States

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The Department of Defense relies on cyberspace and the myriad families of systems and networks it supports to deliver decision dominance and battlespace superiority across every warfighting domain. A Revolution of Military Affairs RMA is underway in which cyberspace is the key terrain and enables true cross-domain warfare through information operations, network operations, and electromagnetic operations. Furthermore, high-paced technological changes permeate social, political, economic and military spheres, dramatically altering security environments by blurring traditional military, government, commercial and international demarcations. In order to sustain the United States edge in future conflicts, USAF leadership must develop a sustainable and flexible framework that manages and develops a cyberspace cadre, today and into the future. This professional paper examines USAF and DoD strategic direction and compiles key assertions that will achieve a cyberspace cadre that is joint, flexible and responsive to the challenges ahead. First, the USAF must revisit how it manages and develops cyberspace operators by adapting a functional specific model that mirrors the characteristics of the cyberspace domain i.e., electromagnetic spectrum, information, network and maintenance aspects rather than legacy institutional structure. Second, in order to build information age cyberspace human capital, force management principles, which comprise a top-down institutional approach, must be used to determine how and where knowledge, skills, and experience should be distributed across the force of the future.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Computer Systems

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