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Military Cyber: An Evolution In Command Relationships Essay

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Future conflicts will not have to start with a bang. An Air Force C-17 carries a special payload, and somewhere over the Indian Ocean the cargo is released. This cargo consists of the latest in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) technology: swarms of mini UAVs with the appearance and perceived characteristics of locusts. The objective of this swarm is to disrupt and not destroy key electrical nodes in a target nation, allowing USSOCOM troops to enter the country undetected. Simultaneously, US cyber forces are disrupting the backup generator systems to ensure radar systems stay down. This could be the beginning of a major offensive or the preparation of a capital region to give rebel forces the freedom of movement and surprise to conduct a bloodless coup. The complexity of this operation demands unity of effort and cyber operations can play an important part. Is this unity of effort best achieved with our present operational and strategic cyber force structure? Would cyber operations benefit from a structure such as the USSOCOM model?
United States military personnel have proven time and again that they can overcome the challenges of fractured command relationships. Title 32 and Title 10 forces worked side by side during the response to Hurricane Katrina and broadened the other’s situational awareness while taking advantage of the uniqueness of each force. Informal working groups were established to see how each group could help the other and Judge Advocate Generals (JAGs) helped deal with the grey areas. Congress amended the Title/Title32 command relationship regarding defense of the homeland with the creation of the dual status commander. Congress also is concerned with improving our cyber operations capabilities to make...


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...resentatives One Hundred Twelfth Congress Second Session Hearing Held July 25, 2012, H.A.S.C. No. 112-146, Vice Admirals testimony to Mr Langevin.
2 Ibid 1, Major General Vautrinot Testimony to Mr Langevin
3 Department of Defense Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace, http://www.defense.gov/news/d20110714cyber.pdf, July 2011, page 5
4 Ibid 1, Mr. Lagevin question to the cyber commanders
5 Ibid 3, page 6
6 Zachary Fryer-Biggs, “U.S. Military Goes on Cyber Offensive”, Defensenews.com May 24, 2012
7 Joint Publication 3.0, “Joint Operations”, August 11, 2011, III-3 – III-5
8 Harry M. Friberg, “U.S. Cyber Command Support to Geographic Combatant Commands”, US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA, February 3, 2011, page 13
9 Ibid GEN Keith B. Alexander, “ Building a New Command in Cyberspace” Strategic Studies Quarterly, Maxwell AFB, AL Summer 2011,
10 Ibid 9, page 10



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