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During the global conflict of World War II, women did not fight on the front lines but provided critical intelligence support to the war effort as code breakers and analysts, considered clerical jobs. As computing matured and evolved into the modern internet, women continued contributing in programming and security fields. The joint force relies on what we now refer to as cyberspace for most aspects of operations, and women have taken part in conflict in this domain well before legally allowed to fight in physical domains.
Effective cyberspace operations require understanding targets at the physical, logical network, and cyber persona layers in order to identify vulnerabilities and relationships between users, information, and network systems. Planning for cyber effects involves extensive thought to branches and sequels, collateral damage, risk, and potential higher-order effects due to the possibility of unforeseen linkages within cyberspace. The best planning cells will apply diverse teams with a mix of technical and cognitive skills to synchronize actions across domains and provoke the desired action, or non-action, from the adversary.
U.S. Naval War College
Newport, Rhode Island
WPS, women in combat, cyberspace operations, intelligence support
Boutwell, Cdr. Sarah, "Advantage in Cyberspace Needs More Than Nerds" (2023). Women, Peace, and Security. 26.