JSOU Quick Look: Cyber Fundamentals for SOF   [open pdf - 446KB]

From the Document: "Variations of the word cyber can describe both things and activities. In terms of things, joint doctrine identifies cyberspace as 'the domain within the information environment that consists of the interdependent network of information technology infrastructures and resident data.' Conversely, cyber activities include cyberspace operations (CO) which are 'the employment of cyberspace capabilities where the primary purpose is to achieve objectives in or through cyberspace.' These terms appear clear, but practical use can be difficult when commanders and planners are seeking approvals or authorizations as the distinction between the domain (cyberspace) and the activity (CO) will result in differences for operational considerations and processes. In fact, disagreement remains regarding CO, information operations, and a variety of overlapping disciplines. The after-action reviews from Joint Task Force (JTF)-ARES Operation Glowing Symphony (OGS), discussed below, indicate that even though it was a successful operation, military and interagency planners disagreed on terms, authorities, and processes. Yet, doctrinal or operational disagreements should not prevent the rest of Special Operations Forces (SOF) from gaining a usable framework to understand cyber. In 2018, Congress clarified the authority for U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) to operate in cyberspace and for the military to execute cyberspace operations as a traditional military activity. Accordingly, CYBERCOM uses a concept of persistent engagement to guide U.S. military actions in cyberspace. Under this concept, cyber capabilities are no longer only employed under certain circumstances. The U.S. is prepared to engage adversaries with constant contact, rather than waiting to defend against attacks, and U.S. military forces are prepared both to act themselves and enable actions by interagency and international partners."

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