View Poll Results: Do you believe cyber warfare is analogous to conventional warfare?

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Thread: Is cyber warfare analogous to conventional warfare?

  1. #21
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    Re: Is cyber warfare analogous to conventional warfare?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    There are entities already devoted to the pursuit of cyber warfare. these entities are not built upon the same large-base-triangle model of an active-duty branch of military, and it is not necessarily optimal that it become so. regardless, the power of bureaucratic / governing inertia suggests that it is more likely that groups that currently have this mission set will expand rather than choose to die to the benefit of a new bureaucracy. The Air Force did not spring - anew from Zeus's head like Athena, but rather grew out of the already-existent Army Air Corps.
    I never said it did. I understand the history and evolution of military bureaucracy pretty well.

    The Army Air Corps was the aerial warfare wing of the U.S. Army, and had several predecessor organizations going back to the 1910s. But you also have to remember that the Army Air Corps became the Army Air Forces in 1941 because there was too much friction between ground commanders and aerial commanders, and the aerial commanders wanted more independence from ground commanders. Full independence was granted when the Air Force was established in 1947.

    So the historical trend is consistent. Right now, cyber warfare units are components of the established services. What that means is that most conventional doctrine will see cyber warfare as a component of conventional warfare. In which case it makes sense for cyber warfare units to remain components of the established services.

    The question then comes up is, "Can cyber warfare operations be independent of conventional warfare operations?" If so, then that helps to justify an independent service.

    Another justification is in regards to promotion of officers. As I understand it, at some point in the military experiencing combat becomes a key to promotion. This is one reason for advocating allowing women to serve in combat roles - because they don't get to experience combat, promotion opportunities are denied to them.

    Which brings up the question as to whether combat in cyberwarfare will be considered on par with combat in physical warfare. Sitting at a desk and hitting buttons to activate computer programs to do what they do may not seem dangerous or as a legitimate combat role. Which means that officers in those component units of other branches may have more difficulty in opportunities of promotion.

    But by establishing an independent branch, such arguments are rendered rather moot since they focus primarily on combat in the arena of cyberwarfare. This means that they don't have to compete with officers who do experience physical combat, and that ladders of promotion are available to both types of warriors.

    Another justification is that the service will have it's own seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and so will be able to advise the President and Congress solely on the United States' ability to perform in the arena of cyberwarfare. Our data networks are getting more and more important with every advance regarding the internet and telecommunications. With that level of importance of that infrastructure, a military official dedicated to the protection of the U.S. grid - and to overpowering that of hostile nations - may be necessary to advise Congress and the President on how to proceed in future conflicts.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that it's going to happen any time soon. By the time all of this is likely to happen I'll be in a retirement home for several years and will be lucky to just remember my name. But, considering historical parallels and trends, I do think it will be an eventuality.
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    Re: Is cyber warfare analogous to conventional warfare?

    Quote Originally Posted by Schutzengel View Post
    I dont think he did anything wrong by continuing "Olympic Games" What I disagree with is the leaking of information that we did it.
    What do you expect? It's an election year.
    I love the NSA. It's like having a secret fan-base you will never see, but they're there, watching everything you write and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that I may be some person's only form of unconstitutional entertainment one night.

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    Re: Is cyber warfare analogous to conventional warfare?

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    I never said it did. I understand the history and evolution of military bureaucracy pretty well.

    The Army Air Corps was the aerial warfare wing of the U.S. Army, and had several predecessor organizations going back to the 1910s. But you also have to remember that the Army Air Corps became the Army Air Forces in 1941 because there was too much friction between ground commanders and aerial commanders, and the aerial commanders wanted more independence from ground commanders. Full independence was granted when the Air Force was established in 1947.

    So the historical trend is consistent. Right now, cyber warfare units are components of the established services. What that means is that most conventional doctrine will see cyber warfare as a component of conventional warfare. In which case it makes sense for cyber warfare units to remain components of the established services.
    So, according to Wikileaks and now the White House, the US was behind both Flame and Stuxnet. Do you think those were developed at Cybercom, or any other military entity where the majority of personnel are made up of non-college-educated 19-22 year olds?

    Another justification is in regards to promotion of officers. As I understand it, at some point in the military experiencing combat becomes a key to promotion. This is one reason for advocating allowing women to serve in combat roles - because they don't get to experience combat, promotion opportunities are denied to them.
    as a side-note, this is incorrect. any fit-rep done in a combat zone is considered a "combat fitrep", regardless of billet.

    Which brings up the question as to whether combat in cyberwarfare will be considered on par with combat in physical warfare. Sitting at a desk and hitting buttons to activate computer programs to do what they do may not seem dangerous or as a legitimate combat role. Which means that officers in those component units of other branches may have more difficulty in opportunities of promotion.
    ....that is what the vast majority of officers in "combat zones" receiving "combat fitreps" do. Unless you happen to be a grunt / combat engineer officer at the rank of captain or below.

    But by establishing an independent branch, such arguments are rendered rather moot since they focus primarily on combat in the arena of cyberwarfare. This means that they don't have to compete with officers who do experience physical combat, and that ladders of promotion are available to both types of warriors.

    Another justification is that the service will have it's own seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and so will be able to advise the President and Congress solely on the United States' ability to perform in the arena of cyberwarfare.
    that will be a need, but why do you assume that their voice will be on the JCS rather than the NSC, or the DNI?

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    Re: Is cyber warfare analogous to conventional warfare?

    Cyber warfare is part of asymmetrical or unconventional warfare.
    Unconventional warfare is by definition, not part of conventional warfare.
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    Re: Is cyber warfare analogous to conventional warfare?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    So, according to Wikileaks and now the White House, the US was behind both Flame and Stuxnet. Do you think those were developed at Cybercom, or any other military entity where the majority of personnel are made up of non-college-educated 19-22 year olds?
    I think you think that I'm saying that cyberwarfare development can only be done as an independent branch, and that the current make up of Cybercom will be adequate for our future needs regarding cyberwarfare, as evidenced by the development of Flame and Stuxnet.

    Please note that I'm not, in any way, criticizing the ability of Cybercom to perform its current duties or how it functions as component parts of established branches. That's not what I'm saying.

    In fact, I'm saying the opposite - that the development of more cyberwarfare weapons and defenses will put pressures to establish a separate branch to solely focus on the development of cyberwarfare weapons and defenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    as a side-note, this is incorrect. any fit-rep done in a combat zone is considered a "combat fitrep", regardless of billet.

    ....that is what the vast majority of officers in "combat zones" receiving "combat fitreps" do. Unless you happen to be a grunt / combat engineer officer at the rank of captain or below.
    Thank you for correcting me in that regard. As I said, I don't know anything of the nuts and bolts of the military, and I admit as much.

    Even so, as cyberwarfare becomes more important, I think the promotion of officers trained and experienced in cyberwarfare will be necessary to do concurrently with officers trained and experienced in more conventional types of combat. What I mean by that is that instead of having an officer focusing on, say, tank combat competing for a slot with an officer focusing on cyberwarfare within the same branch that, instead, a separate branch will allow the best in these two different battlefields to rise concurrently.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    that will be a need, but why do you assume that their voice will be on the JCS rather than the NSC, or the DNI?
    Because I think that as time goes on we will have to make distinctions between cyberwarfare, cyberintelligence, and cybersecurity. Once those distinctions require more specialization of effort, bureaucracies will form to allow the managing of those divisions of labor. And when that happens, a Cyber Force can be established that focuses solely on the aspect of cyberwarfare, while other agencies can handle other specializations, such as cyberintelligence or cybersecurity. Or a Cyber Force can establish military aspects of cyberintelligence and cybersecurity, while other agencies handle non-military aspects of those things. Which depends on the type of culture we want to develop, and our evolving needs.

    Sure, at this moment, our capabilities and demands don't require such divisions of labor, which is why Cybercom is fine for now. In 50 years time, though, as technological advances increase, I think that we will be required to specialize more, and create a bureaucracy that handles those specializations.
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    Re: Is cyber warfare analogous to conventional warfare?

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    I think you think that I'm saying that cyberwarfare development can only be done as an independent branch, and that the current make up of Cybercom will be adequate for our future needs regarding cyberwarfare, as evidenced by the development of Flame and Stuxnet.

    Please note that I'm not, in any way, criticizing the ability of Cybercom to perform its current duties or how it functions as component parts of established branches. That's not what I'm saying.

    In fact, I'm saying the opposite - that the development of more cyberwarfare weapons and defenses will put pressures to establish a separate branch to solely focus on the development of cyberwarfare weapons and defenses.
    I am agreeing, and simply disagreeing that this will require a separate branch of active-duty military personnel. The military may push for it in order to secure more funding, but I think they are unlikely to succeed at that push.

    Thank you for correcting me in that regard. As I said, I don't know anything of the nuts and bolts of the military, and I admit as much.


    Even so, as cyberwarfare becomes more important, I think the promotion of officers trained and experienced in cyberwarfare will be necessary to do concurrently with officers trained and experienced in more conventional types of combat. What I mean by that is that instead of having an officer focusing on, say, tank combat competing for a slot with an officer focusing on cyberwarfare within the same branch that, instead, a separate branch will allow the best in these two different battlefields to rise concurrently.



    Because I think that as time goes on we will have to make distinctions between cyberwarfare, cyberintelligence, and cybersecurity. Once those distinctions require more specialization of effort, bureaucracies will form to allow the managing of those divisions of labor. And when that happens, a Cyber Force can be established that focuses solely on the aspect of cyberwarfare, while other agencies can handle other specializations, such as cyberintelligence or cybersecurity. Or a Cyber Force can establish military aspects of cyberintelligence and cybersecurity, while other agencies handle non-military aspects of those things. Which depends on the type of culture we want to develop, and our evolving needs.

    Sure, at this moment, our capabilities and demands don't require such divisions of labor, which is why Cybercom is fine for now. In 50 years time, though, as technological advances increase, I think that we will be required to specialize more, and create a bureaucracy that handles those specializations.
    Sadly it is 11:18 pm here,and the wife is insisting that i leave alone those poor benighted souls who have the temerity to disagree with me on the internet, and retire to our bed another time.

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    Re: Is cyber warfare analogous to conventional warfare?

    Quote Originally Posted by Surtr View Post
    What do you expect? It's an election year.
    that national secrets actually ARE... self-agrandizement at the expense of national interest is at a minimum, very very bad form.
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    Re: Is cyber warfare analogous to conventional warfare?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Sadly it is 11:18 pm here,and the wife is insisting that i leave alone those poor benighted souls who have the temerity to disagree with me on the internet, and retire to our bed another time.
    There was a charming little cartoon in the WSJ a few months ago. Background, woman in nightgown standing in doorway. Foreground, man crouched over keyboard. Caption, "I CAN'T come to bed right now! Somebody's WRONG on the internet!"
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    Re: Is cyber warfare analogous to conventional warfare?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    I am agreeing, and simply disagreeing that this will require a separate branch of active-duty military personnel. The military may push for it in order to secure more funding, but I think they are unlikely to succeed at that push.
    Actually, I would think that the military may resist it as it is another branch they would have to compete with for slices of the defense budget.

    And, as I mentioned before, there are some benefits. Another one is that the branch can establish its own regulations concerning the personnel they will admit. I believe that the Air Force has an age limit for enlisted personnel that is lower than that for the Army. The reason why is because the Air Force is much more of a technical branch so they need younger people who can adapt and keep up with technical advances in technology. The Army, on the other hand, will always make do with a grunt who can shoot an assault rifle.

    So a separate Cyber Force could benefit by being able to make their own regulations regarding the enlisted personnel they accept.

    And, again, I agree with you that it doesn't warrant it's own branch. Yet. My argument, however, is that it's an eventuality.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Sadly it is 11:18 pm here,and the wife is insisting that i leave alone those poor benighted souls who have the temerity to disagree with me on the internet, and retire to our bed another time.
    Yeah, time for me to start my day and go out and about. Have a good night.

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  10. #30
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    Re: Is cyber warfare analogous to conventional warfare?

    I think the potential of a separate cyber-warfare unit is very real. However, I'm not so sure that it will necessarily be a military branch. It will most certainly be government, but it may be civilian, i.e. CIA, etc., but have military people assigned to it, or something like that. Not unlike how Homeland Security was created as an anti-terrorism response... which, fills me with concern, considering how fast and far-reaching HS has grown from even its original mission.

    That last though alone does not fill me with confidence.
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