Digital Conflict

By Kevin Coleman

Blog archive

Leadership training needed for cyber warfare

The primary responsibility of military leaders is to get the job done. Military leaders are now challenged with getting the job done in cyberspace. Most academics and military strategists agree that the weaponization of software used to attack electronic targets connected to the Internet has expanded the skill set and personal knowledge base it takes to be a leader in the modern military.

Educational institutions in all branches of the military are asking: What does it take to be a military leader entrusted with responsibilities for operations on the cyber battlefield? That is a question that our military is addressing. Every branch of our armed services is now in need of leaders fluent in the art and science of cyber warfare.

Traditional leadership programs are being modified and expanded to address some of the unique challenges posed by military cyberspace operations. One example of a military educational institution addressing this issue is the Army War College. Through unique curriculum and study programs, the college helps military, civilian and international participants prepare for strategic leadership in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational cyber environment. One of its studies specifically addresses the knowledge requirement of senior leaders as it relates to cyberspace operations. A public report from a workshop the college conducted is available.

Militaries around the world are working to anticipate and prepare for the future and that includes cultivating 21st century leadership. Surprisingly, some organizations and individuals are resisting change and forcing cyber operations into traditional military models. Failure to adapt leadership models to the new hybrid conflict environment ushered in by cyberspace is very dangerous.

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Apr 28, 2011 at 9:03 AM


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