Digital Conflict

By Kevin Coleman

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Kevin Coleman

The need for better cyber combat skills

Many people have projected the norming of cyberattack capabilities into the concepts, methods and techniques used in modern-day conflict and they were right.  The advancement and availability of cyber weapons, coupled with a growing understanding of how they can be used in support of conventional conflict, has driven the need for a basic understanding of these weapons and techniques across the board. Actual cyberattacks and the weapons used have been studied not only by academics, but also by military planners, strategists and commanding officers alike.

Electronics have germinated the modern battlefield. This has created a need for a basic understanding of cyber weapons and cyberattack techniques throughout the ranks. This understanding should be extended even to the level of the ordinary combat soldier. This was made clear in a recent cyber scenario planning exercise. Indeed, there are a number of situations where ground forces might be in the best position to launch an attack against an adversary's cyber assets, military equipment or infrastructure.

This need carries over into defensive training as well. Equipment operators must be aware of the potential that their equipment could be compromised by a cyberattack launched by the enemy. When the equipment they are operating acts abnormally, understanding the basics of this threat would at least bring this potential threat into their thought process as they seek to determine the reason the equipment is not functioning as it should.

Militaries around the world must now incorporate cyber warfare skills into basic training. There are some who will say these skills are not needed by everyone. To maintain that position, they clearly have not seen just how technology intensive the modern battle field is today. That intensity will only increase over time.

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Jan 10, 2013 at 12:55 PM


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