Accession Number:



Concepts for Conducting Warfare in Cyberspace

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Technical Report,25 Jul 2017,20 Apr 2018

Corporate Author:

Joint Forces Staff College / NDU NORFOLK United States

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The recent elevation of cyberspace as a domain has been done without fully providing a theory of the strategic and operational construct of the implementation of cyber power. This has resulted in a focus on the tactical effects of cyber capabilities. This is not unlike the initial response following technological advancements in maritime power in the 19thcentury, and the advent of airpower in the early 20th century. For a state to wholly realize the full capabilities of cyberspace, as was accomplished in the maritime and air domains, strategic and operational planners require a construct upon which to base their planning efforts. By exploring the nature of the cyberspace domain alongside the initial theories of maritime and air power, this paper will offer a construct for planners and operational artists to take advantage of the benefits of the new domain. Current efforts have either focused on tactical effects or held cyber in reserve and protected for a future use. If the military is to take full advantage of the new domain, it must fully integrate effects from this synthetic domain in time and space with effects from the other physical domains to meet strategic goals. The operational construct presented is a four-layered concept of cyberspace that includes the physical, logic, data, and social layers. Despite a variety of possible actions against each of these layers, the operational tasks operational artists need to focus on are interdict, disrupt, corrupt, and destroy. By focusing on these key tasks, the operational artist is able will effectively integrate the effects from the cyberspace domain with effects from the physical domains for strategic effect.

Subject Categories:

  • Computer Systems Management and Standards

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