Operational Command and Control of Cyber Warfare: A Comparative Case Study Analysis
Air University Maxwell AFB United States
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The complexity of military operations is increasing as information technologies begin to merge the strategic, operational and tactical levels of warfare. In addition to an increased emphasis on coalition warfare, the introduction of new warfighting domains such as space and cyberspace complicate an already complex array of organizational relationships. In its infancy, USCYBERCOM rightly focused on building the capacity of its cyber capabilities and maturing the commands staff processes and relationships. In that same period, the command implemented incremental changes to its C2 framework to foster better integration of cyber capabilities on the battlefield. Even the most current C2 framework, however, hinders USCYBERCOMs efforts to build effective warfighting capabilities in the cyberspace domain. USCYBERCOM should look to its functional counterparts for effective methods to C2 cyber operations. The Air Force employs processes that permit centralized control and decentralized execution to emphasize the unique characteristics of airpower. Special operators use agile organizations and support relationships to facilitate distributed operations, unity of effort, and unified action while maintaining a small tactical footprint. USCYBERCOM has neither the underlying processes nor the agile organizational construct to integrate cyber warfare into the joint fight effectively. As a unified combatant command, USCYBERCOM must transition from its rigid model of centralized control and centralized execution to a slightly more decentralized role of global synchronization. This transition requires the creation of regional cyber headquarters, collocated with the geographic combatant commands GCCs, under the Combatant Command COCOM of USCYBERCOM. The new cyber components should also distribute liaison elements to the corps or division level equivalent of the existing service air-to-ground C2 systems to foster improved timing and tempo of cyber effects.
- Command, Control and Communications Systems
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics