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The Cyber Threat to Military Just-in-Time Logistics: Risk Mitigation and the Return to Forward Basing

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Technical Report

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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Logistics is an integral part of military operations, especially in the US Army following World War I as armed conflicts required the military to project power overseas over vast distances. Military logisticians in concert with the private sector developed highly efficient logistics operations over the course of the twentieth century. However, the frequency of cyber-attacks on logistics has increased in over the past decade. The move away from the pre-Operation Desert Storm method of forward-based stockpiles to a cost-reducing and more efficient computer-based just-in-time logistics model has exposed military logistics to a multitude of risks from cyber-attacks. Operational commanders need to consider these risks in their logistics plans, and in doing so, have opportunities to evaluate methods that can better safeguard their logistics requirements. Ultimately, the reliance on just-in-time logistics needs to be minimized by way of a partial return to forward basing. Forward basing, though more expensive, has advantages such as redundancy, flexibility, and reduced risk to combat operations.

Subject Categories:

  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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