Digital Conflict

By Kevin Coleman

Blog archive

Cyber dominance requires strong leadership

Countries around the world have undertaken huge efforts and crafted detailed plans to develop, educate and deploy cyber soldiers. A scan of these programs shows that the focus of these efforts is on the technical aspects of compromising systems through the 48 vectors of cyberattack listed in the "Cyber Commander's eHandbook."

Our military leadership overall is well-rounded, well-versed in global conflict and very knowledgeable and proficient in command, management and leadership in the four domains of conflict: land, sea, air and space. But what about the command, management and leadership skills that are needed in the new hybrid environment we call cyber warfare? Add this challenge to the fact that Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen are leaving, and the amount of change confronting the U.S. military becomes significant.

The replacement leaders must motivate others to accomplish their missions by providing purpose, direction and motivation while encouraging innovation, continuous learning and even creativity that are three critical characteristics in defending our nation against cyberattacks and preparing us for cyber wars.

The new conflict environment of land, sea, air, space and cyber will surely challenge whoever succeeds these two distinguished leaders. In 2010, a Quadrennial Defense Review independent panel told Congress that our military must boost its long-range strike, maritime and cyber capabilities to confront global trends and threats. The leaders who replace Gates and Mullen must help the United States achieve these objectives.

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Apr 14, 2011 at 9:03 AM


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