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Limitless Battlespace: Operations in Cyberspace

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Final rept.,

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Our nation is embarked on a new Cold War. This new war, unlike the conflict with the Soviet Union, has no territorial boundaries, can involve offensive operations from virtually any corner of the globe, can be conducted by nation-states, terrorist groups or high school hackers, and requires massive national expenditure to counter. It is a product of the Information Age. This war in a military context can be undertaken on its own or in concert with traditional employment of force. It can also be a force multiplier both for and against our nation. In the modern world, the territorial boundaries between adversaries and allies can be unrecognizable as in the case of non-State-sponsored terrorism, space, and cyberspace. For the operational commander, use of information technology including space systems will generally traverse networks within and possibly controlled by nations not involved in the conflict, and over which he has no control. In fact, his information may actually employ the adversarys assets en route to him. Such is the nature of information operations in modern society. As presented here, the advent of this technology presents unique capabilities as well as unique problems and vulnerabilities for military operations. This paper intends to address 1 The unique nature of cyberspace 2 Potential vulnerabilities to specifically command and control systems 3 Measures for information management and protection and 4 Challenges of information operations. While this paper does not endorse restricted use of the technology, it will attempt to raise the awareness of the operational commander regarding this new venue of war, and proposes a CINC-level organization to effectively operate in the information realm.

Subject Categories:

  • Command, Control and Communications Systems
  • Information Science

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