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A Cyberspace Command and Control Model (Maxwell Paper, Number 47)

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Although the concept of command and control C2 is firmly embedded in U.S. warfighting doctrine, organization, technology, and operations, a definitive method for cyberspace C2 has not been established across the joint force. Also, there is ample evidence that the joint force is not optimally organized for C2 of cyberspace operations. Ongoing intrusions to the tune of six million per day and massive exfiltration of information remain unabated. Attacks appear to be growing ever more sophisticated and difficult to detect. In addition, the armed forces offensive capabilities are unnecessarily segmented, being that both the legal authorities and technical capabilities are wholly enabled by agencies other than the Department of Defense DoD. This situation critically reduces the responsiveness to combatant and joint task force commanders and increases the difficulty of integrating cyberspace capabilities into operational plans and execution. The central thesis of this paper is that any approach to cyberspace C2 must be founded on the nature of the cyberspace domain itself. To investigate this proposal, the paper examines possible alternatives for cyberspace C2 that are based on the nature of the strategic environment, the nature of the cyberspace domain itself, and the way in which conflict must be approached in this domain to improve the armed forces ability to successfully compete in cyberspace. The paper provides background on the pertinent threats arising in cyberspace the definition of cyberspace and the nature of the strategic environment, cyberspace, and competition in cyberspace. Next, a review of C2 models and associated organizational forms, including the current DoD approach, is presented. A set of cyberspace C2 criteria is then derived, followed by an analysis of the models in light of the criteria. Using the results of the analysis, implications for C2 -- with particular emphasis on organizational structure -- are addressed.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Computer Systems
  • Computer Systems Management and Standards
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Command, Control and Communications Systems

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