What is it?
Operations involving attacking, exploiting, and defending digitized data, knowledge, and communications will change warfare as we have come to know it. Other nations recognize this and are militarizing the information environment. Globalization of the Internet has created an environment in which everyone shares the same network fabric. Simply stated, our network is the adversaries’ network. As of 2007, there are over 1.114 billion Internet users. Cyberspace is a new battlefield, and new thinking on how to operate within this environment is required. “Cyber operations” is the Army’s term for the doctrine, concepts, and command relationships being developed to meet and defeat this cyber threat.
What has the Army done?
The Army’s Chief Information Officer (G-6) chaired the Joint Cyberspace General Officer Steering Committee on Sept. 20, 2007, devoted to discussing cyber operations and providing recommendations to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army on the Army’s roles in such operations.
The Army is developing plans to support the U.S. Strategic Command’s Implementation-Plan (I-Plan) to execute the National Military Strategy for Cyber Operations. The I-Plan identifies 42 tasks (10 critical) and the responsible organizations and milestones that will lay the groundwork for achievement by the Department of Defense of its strategic goal of U.S. military superiority in cyberspace. The Army is actively supporting execution of the I-Plan.What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
Follow-on actions for the Army include the following:
- Continued refinement of the Army roles and responsibilities for cyber operations and the development of strategic communications for stakeholders
- Identification of Army command and control and other organizational structures to better focus Army elements engaged in cyber operations
- Identification of the Army General Officer/Senior Executive Service advocate for cyber operations
- Lexicon, concept, and doctrine development for cyber operations
- Development of career paths for cyber operations skills and recruitment of promising candidates
Why is this important to the Army?
The threat in this environment comes from many fronts: from simple thrill seekers to digital criminals, terrorists, and state-sponsored attackers. The potential for an electronic 9/11 is high, meaning that there is significant risk in not investing in cyber operations. We must deny our adversaries the ability to operate unchallenged in cyberspace.