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What is the Purpose of the Cyber Mission Force

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Technical Report

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Institute for Defense Analyses Alexandria United States

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General Paul Nakasone, Commander United States Cyber Command USCYBERCOM, recently and rhetorically posed the following question What function does U.S. Cyber Command perform that obligates society to assume responsibility for its maintenance This question is a variant of a theme that permeated strategic literature emerging after the end of World War II, i.e., what is the purpose of U.S. military forces In spite of its existential leanings, it is an important question for which USCYBERCOM should have a defensible response when queried about the Cyber Mission Force as, less than a year ago, all 133 cyber mission teams achieved Full Operational Capability. This essay derives an answer by adopting an analytical framework first appearing in post-World War II strategic scholarship, one based on considerations of geography and technology, and concludes that the chief purpose of the Cyber Mission Force should be to seize the initiative and gain superiority in the cyber strategic competitive space short of armed conflict.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Computer Systems Management and Standards

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