Accession Number:

ADA415427

Title:

Computer Network Attack: An Operational Tool?

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.

Corporate Author:

NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2003-01-17

Pagination or Media Count:

21.0

Abstract:

Computer Network Attack CNA is defined as operations to disrupt, deny, degrade, or destroy information resident in computers and computer networks or the computers and networks themselves. Like other Information Operations, CNA has implications at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels of war, and can be implemented across the warfare spectrum, from peace to crisis, crisis to conflict and back to peace. The purpose of this paper is to argue that the effects of Computer Network Attack are best realized at the operational level of war. CNA applied at this level provides many benefits over the conventional physical reduction of an enemy capability, or by the use of CNA at the tactical level to achieve these goals. Although there is a great deal about CNA that is classified, this thesis will be examined strictly at the unclassified level. The well-planned use of CNA at the operational level of war has as its objective the decisions made by the enemys leadership, and provides advantages over the purely tactical use of CNA. These advantages are realized in the following categories pre- conflict coercion, speed of battlefield preparationforce multiplier, humane nature, focused effort, and post-crisis recovery. The planner must be aware of some disadvantages, such as unintended consequences, world opinion, precedent, and friendly-force vulnerabilities. The advantages inherent in the operational use of CNA can be realized through awareness training and education, good use of intelligence and CNA awareness in the Intelligence community, robust experimentation, and a dedicated and keen eye towards monitoring and shaping the international legal environment.

Subject Categories:

  • Information Science
  • Computer Systems Management and Standards

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE