Cyber OODA: Towards a Conceptual Cyberspace Framework   [open pdf - 2MB]

"There have been many efforts to understand exactly how and why information can dramatically enhance military power. Perhaps none of these efforts have been more successful than the Network Centric Operations Conceptual Framework (NCO CF). […] [T]he NCO CF draws many conceptual parallels to John Boyd's Observe, Orient, Decide, Act (OODA) loop to explain the decision making process. This revolution enhances the capabilities of US military forces to the extent that the number of fighters no longer matter as much as their capabilities do. A ten-to-one numerical advantage is not important when the outnumbered forces are a hundred times more capable. […] The NCO CF provides a framework to 'bridge the gap between the simplicity of the OODA loop and the complex reality of military decision making and execution' in a complex joint or coalition environment with many actors, organizations, echelons, and decision makers participating. […] [T]he NCO CF also shows how activities in the information, cognitive, and social domains interact to influence the physical domain where traditional military activities occur. Applied correctly, the NCO CF can also point to weaknesses and areas to improve the information advantage. […] There are many similarities between traditional military engagements and cyberspace engagements. Just as military capabilities, such as a Marine Air Ground Task Force, are created, used, attacked, and defended, so can cyber capabilities be created, used, attacked, and defended. Likewise, insights may be garnered from analyzing cyberspace engagements using the NCO CF in the same manner that typical military capabilities have benefitted. In pursuit of that possibility, this thesis asks the question: can the Network Centric Operations Conceptual Framework be applied to engagements in cyberspace?"

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