The Newest Warfighting Domain: Cyberspace
Synesis: A Journal of Science, Technology, Ethics, and Policy 2013; 4: G90-95
Cyberspace is a global commons not that unlike the oceans air or space. Debatably, these commons have seen the US military’s superiority challenged over the last decade. Yet while the US arguably still maintains military advantage in land, air, sea, and space, it is the newly minted domain of cyberspace which potentially threatens to undermine these domains as they become increasingly interconnected and dependent on cyberspace technology. Thus, as the US military continues to work with international allies to leverage “Information as Warfare”, the importance of this global common intensifies. A review of operational doctrine is warranted in order to ensure that cyberspace is treated on par with the traditional domains. This paper reviews current cyberspace operations strategy and policy, cyberspace environment characteristics, and current operational integration and intelligence support methodologies to determine if significant changes are required to further the effective utilization, integration and exploitation of cyberspace. Essentially, with minor modifications, current principles and doctrine that are applied to traditional intelligence efforts to support kinetic warfare may be employed for cyberspace operations to produce the desired battlespace effects. However, other significant challenges to cyberspace integration concerning cultural barriers, tactics and procedures, and personnel training and retention also need to be appreciated and considered.
Keywords: cyberspace, doctrine, warfighting, strategy, cybertechnology, intelligence