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Untangling the Cyberspace Domain: What Members of the Intelligence Warfighting Function Should Know

posted Jul 6, 2018, 7:15 AM by James Caroland   [ updated Jul 6, 2018, 7:16 AM ]
By LTC Galen Kane, CPT William Sanz, and CPT Wallie Lacks, United States Army

Article Summary

Cyberspace is now the most active, contested, and congested of the warfighting domains.  Given the pace of operations and the rate of change in the environment, new ways of operating are being developed at a rapid pace.  The changes involved with the technology and the extent to which cyberspace is affecting the land and human terrain are significant today and we must be bold and innovative to stay ahead of threats that exists.  Conditions now reflect a full and complete convergence of the human terrain with cyberspace.  One of the greatest opportunities for growth and innovation lies in the Intelligence Warfighting Function (IWfF).  Professionals within the IWfF must evolve their understanding of the cyberspace domain and its impact on future conflict must evolve beyond a rudimentary user-level understanding.  

There are a few common misperceptions prevalent amongst members of the IWfF that operate in the Cyberspace Domain.  These myths contribute to gaps which tangle and impede the IWfF’s ability to effectively support Cyberspace Operations (CO).  The four myths are 1) complexity of the Cyberspace Domain necessitates implementation of unique intelligence support models; 2) Intelligence Preparation of the Battlespace is not applicable to the Cyberspace Domain; 3) complexity of cyberspace inhibits decide, detect, deliver, and assess targeting methodology; and 4) Signals Intelligence is the only source of intelligence that matters in the Cyberspace Domain.

The IWfF is presented with several opportunities to sustain and improve intelligence support to CO. These opportunities include: 1) ensuring all-source intelligence products relevant and accurate; 2) cyberspace enabling functions like the IWfF must possess detailed knowledge and understanding of the Cyberspace Domain; 3) the IWfF’s personnel require proper training and experience to be responsive to the Cyber Mission Force’s intelligence requirements; 4) Finally, the IWfF must take full advantage of the opportunity to disperse the fog and friction that clouds today’s cyberspace operating environment.  For only through these continued examinations will the IWfF move forward most effectively and fully employ our Joint Force to meet challenges in the Cyberspace Domain. 


James Caroland,
Jul 6, 2018, 7:15 AM