Cyberpower and National Security

Product Description
The cyber domain is undergoing extraordinary changes that present both exceptional opportunities to and major challenges for users of cyberspace. The challenges arise from the malevolent actors who use cyberspace and the many security vulnerabilities that plague this sphere. Exploiting opportunities and overcoming challenges will require a balanced body of knowledge on the cyber domain. Cyberpower and National Security assembles a group of experts and discusses pert… More >>

Cyberpower and National Security

2 replies
  1. Bob Gourley says:

    Last week at the InfowarCon Dan Kuehl handed me a copy of “Cyberpower and National Security.” This has been a topic Dan has been exploring in some detail for quite a while. I first met Dan in 1996 when I was a student at the USMC Command and Staff College. Dan was already writing and exploring concepts related to cyber power and information warfare, and his deep focus and insights into this still emerging mission area continues today.

    About the book, it is big. Not just in pages (it weighs in at 642 pages). It is big in info. Chapters are written by some of the greatest thinkers of the Cyber War mission area. Folks like Dan Kuehl, Edward Skoudis, Greg Rattray, Martin Libicki, Irving Lachow, Tim Thomas, Tom Wingfield and of course the editors Franklin Kramer, Stuart Starr and Larry Wentz. These and the other contributors are all well respected thought leaders and each provide insights I believe will be of use to today’s strategic planners.

    As for the content, it starts with a great foundation and overview of what is meant by Cyberspace (building on Dan Kuelh’s well articulated definition) and also spells out key issues that policy makers and national security strategists must tackle. It then spells out changes in cyberspace including projections into the near future, and ends with an analysis of the impact of all these changes- including the considerations we must think through in our strategic deliberations.

    I now consider this book a critical foundational work that should be studied by anyone who seeks to dialog on modern national security issues. This book does for the strategic domain what the Common Audit Guidelines did for the operational cyber domain. Cyberpower and National Security (National Defense University)
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. Retired Reader says:

    The National Defense University, the sponsor of this book, has produced an excellent collaboration on the related subjects of Cyberspace and Cyberpower and their influence on National Security. The authors selected for this effort appear remarkably competent for the task and have together produced a highly informative and useful book.

    Unlike so many books in this genre, this book begins with an accurate and well developed definition of “cyberspace” that brings the concept from a vague buzzword to a concrete multi-tiered system. The authors of this book are particularly adept at identifying and analyzing the layers and protocols that constitute cyberspace. Perhaps most importantly one chapter discusses the role of the Department of Defense developed Global Information Grid (GIG) which is base for military use of cyberspace. Although the book makes a valid reference to the misnamed Global Network, it fails to note that the GIG actually is a component of this network. Still it nails the concept of cyberspace very accurately.

    Given its sponsor the book of course devotes a good deal of attention to the military use of cyberspace particularly in its central role in the latest iteration of command and control doctrine called `Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance’ (C4ISR) which the basis for the “network centric warfare” concept which has been widely adopted by the U.S. Navy and Air Force. Still the book also includes information of considerable importance to non-military applications of cyberspace and the concept of civil infrastructure protection.

    This leads to the concept of cyberwar in which an enemy tries disrupt or destroy targeted military and civilian computer networks by means of hostile computer systems. The prospect of cyberwar is the foundation for one of the most interesting series of discussions in this book on the subject of”cyberpower.”

    The late U.S. Navy Admiral Arthur Cebrowski was a strong advocate for the evolution of naval command and decision systems to C4ISR systems. He also had a very significant idea on cyberspace, which he argued was the new “commons” on which 21st Century commerce would depend. This represented a modernization of A.T. Mahan’s concept that the sea represented the `commons’ on which maritime commerce was based. (“Transforming Military Force”, Praeger 2007). In this book it is argued that cyberpower is analogous to sea power and a 21st Century mission of the U.S. Military is to acquire and maintain control over cyberspace much as it remains the Navy and Air Force missions to acquire and maintain control over the sea and air.

    This book is one the most complete and technically accurate books written to date on the increasingly important issues of cyber warfare and cyber security.

    Rating: 5 / 5

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