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Cyber Warfare: The Importance Of The New Digital Battlefield

2258 words - 9 pages

For thousands of years warfare remained relatively unchanged. While the tactics and weapons have changed as new methods of combat evolved, men and women or their weapons still had to meet at the same time and place in order to attack, defend, surrender or conquer. However, the advent of the of the internet has created a new realm of combat in which armies can remotely conduct surveillance, reconnaissance, espionage, and attacks from an ambiguous and space-less digital environment. Both state and non-state actors have already embraced this new realm and utilized both legal and illegal means to further facilitate their interests. What complicates cyber security further is as states attempt to protect themselves from cyber-warfare, private and commercial technological methods largely keeps pace with state technological developments, largely removing military advantages created through large militaries. Since the creation and implementation of international networking via the internet, the United States has adopted the technology within the military and government infrastructure. As a result, the United States has opened itself up to a new threat which must be actively addressed in order to protect the national security of the United States. Successful cyber-attacks originating in China, Russia, and the Middle East have already penetrated the United States military’s network infrastructure and leaked sensitive and classified information. While the size and the scope of the information breaches have not yet resulted in a grave threat to the United States, the increase in cyber-threats and cyber-attacks make cyber-warfare one of the most important national security issues facing the United States and the intelligence community. A catastrophic failure in cyber-warfare could result in the disruption of military communication, a loss of important classified information, or destruction of vital infrastructure. Therefore, it is important to reform current organizational deficiencies which hinder current cyber-warfare efforts, adopt a new doctrine relevant to the new threat, and make cyber-warfare one of the United States Government’s top national security priorities.
Cyber-space and cyber-warfare are two terms that have varied definitions from between agencies and institutions. Since there are varying definitions of cyber-space it is important to accurately define the new digital domain where cyber-warfare will take place. A comprehensive definition of cyberspace explicated by Thomas Wingfield states,
“Cyberspace is not a physical place - it defies measurement in any physical dimension or time space continuum. It is a shorthand term that refers to the environment created by the confluence of cooperative networks of computers, information systems, and telecommunication infrastructure commonly referred to as the World Wide Web” (Wingfield 2007, 45).
Defining cyber-warfare is also important but suffers from the same lack of continuity between...

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