AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AFB United States
Throughout military history, the combatant who controlled the high ground or the key terrain has had the tactical advantage that would deny the adversary any leverage due to geographic position. The definition of critical geographic terrain is clear. It may include a hill, a crossing point of a river or lake, or a valley.1 Dominance of the topography will likely be the deciding factor in winning a battle. Just as in the geographic domain, there are vital elements of the cyberspace domain. An understanding of these components or key cyber terrain is critical to the success of any military operation.2 The control of this domain affords the commander an unencumbered ability to communicate, plan and operate in cyberspace. In fact, the Air Force cyber mission for the Joint Force Commander is to retain freedom of maneuverability in cyberspace and to deny it from adversaries.3This study uses the problemsolution strategy to assess options that will enable the commander to realize the Air Forces cyber mission. Recommendations will be made that will enable complete dominance of the cyber landscape. Implementation of these recommendations will lead to successful achievement of military objectives.