Cyberspace as a Complex Adaptive System and the Policy and Operational Implications for Cyber Warfare [open pdf - 418KB]
"The overall implication of depicting cyberspace as a complex, adaptive ecosystem is that it provides an avenue for further insight and understanding of the complexities associated with operating in cyberspace. This renewed reality highlights a source of vulnerability, a potential threat to national security, due to the intermixing of public and private infrastructure and the reliance of the United States Government (USG) on infrastructure owned and operated by the private sector. The fact that most, if not all, of the underlying infrastructure for seamless cyber interactions are controlled and managed by non-state entities means that the USG most recognize the power of the private sector in cyberspace. This represents a disturber of the familiar international order because the major actor that constitutes and defines international relations (the state) is not able to control cyberspace or to insulate itself from the implications of the new cyber realities. This recognition suggests that adopting a policy position that is primarily offensive in nature better serves the US, especially in regards to the protection of the cyber ecosystems of the private sector. Specifically it proposes that offensive cyber attacks should not be limited to only the authorized entities of the United States military, but should be expanded to include authorized entities in the private sector. Central to this proposition is the introduction of a new element of operational art specific to the cyber realm to guard against unintended consequences--the operational art element of precision."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/