Digital Conflict

By Kevin Coleman

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How do you react quickly to cyber aggression?

We have entered a period of turbulence and unrest with serious events unfolding in multiple countries. We just witnessed the United Nations, NATO, the European Union and the United States, which have all worked together many times, called on once again to coordinate military activities in an effort to establish a no-fly zone. They even received support from the chief of the Arab League. The following is a high-level timeline of the critical events that unfolded on the world stage.


Feb. 21: The suggestion that President Barack Obama establish a no-fly zone began.
Feb. 25: President Obama imposed an array of sanctions against Libya.
Feb. 28: British Prime Minister David Cameron asked the military to look into what it would take to establish a no-fly zone over Libya.
March 17: The U.N. Security Council passes resolution 1973, authorizing the use of “all necessary means” to protect Libyan civilians.
March 19: The French military launched warplanes to carry out the first air strikes necessary to establish the no-fly zone.

Some praised these efforts for the speed with which this mission was accomplished with one report stating the action occurred with “remarkable speed.” If you look at conventional conflict that might indeed be accurate. What about decision making during a cyber conflict? Cyberattacks could use a computer virus, and we all know this cyber weapon spreads at a dizzying rate. Decision making at a rate appropriate for kinetic warfare, without a doubt, would prove much too slow in the event of a cyberattack. The command and control organizational structure coupled with the decision making process must be streamlined for an adequate real-time cyber response.

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Mar 31, 2011 at 12:12 PM


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