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Publication Date

7-1-2015

Abstract

For much of the past two decades, when US military officials discussed “cyber” warfare they seemed to focus almost exclusively on how “networks” enabled command and control (C2) over forces operating across the traditional warfighting domains (i.e., air, surface, subsurface, land, and even space). More recently, emphasis has shifted to a discussion about the need to ensure government and commercial networks are adequately “defended” against nearly continuous “attacks” from government sponsored entities as well as private hackers seeking to utilize the internet to accomplish a wide array of objectives. However, the holy grail of cyber for the US military has always been the ability to conduct offensive cyber operations (OCO). Indeed, we have reached a point where many people are beginning to associate “non-kinetic effects” almost exclusively with OCO as opposed to Information Operations or Electronic Warfare, each of which have long histories as methods of warfare. This paper explains how offensive cyber operations should be integrated into Operation Level Warfare Planning.

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