The Evolution Of Preemptive Strikes In Israeli Operational Planning And Future Implications For The Cyber Domain   [open pdf - 410KB]

"The strategic and operational use of preemptive strikes transitioned from the traditional tactic of air raids to the use of covert cyber-attacks like Stuxnet designed specifically to disrupt enemy capabilities. Through a close examination of the evolution of preemptive strikes by the Israeli Defense Forces from the 1967 and 1973 wars to its airstrikes on neighboring nuclear production facilities in Iraq and Syria to its use of Stuxnet, operational planners can gain an understanding of the evolution of preemption as a concept. Examining this shift from air strikes to cyber-attacks through the lens of U.S. Army Doctrine and the tenets of Unified Land Operations (Depth, Synchronization, Integration, Adaptability, Flexibility, and Lethality) as well as the cyber concepts of Untraceability and Deception from modern thinkers gives operational planners a deeper understanding of how to conceptualize and integrate cyber activities into planning. By grasping these concepts and their usage in cyber, planners can gain a position of relative cognitive advantage when using preemptive attacks. Conceptualizing and interpreting the evolutionary process of Israeli operational planners and their understanding and planning of preemptive attacks can shed light on how they disaggregated depth and integrated cyber into preemption. Understanding how planners can better utilize cyber weapons similar to Stuxnet in preemptive strikes, contributes to the U.S. Army's ability to retain its position of relative advantage over its adversaries in future wars."

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