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Abstract

The United States Department of Defense (DoD) declared cyberspace as an operational domain in 2011. The DoD subsequently formed US Cyber Command and the Cyber Mission Force to conduct operations to achieve national and military objectives in and through cyberspace. Since that time, the DoD has implemented and evolved through multiple command and control (C2) structures for cyberspace operations, derived from traditional military C2 doctrine, to achieve unity of effort across both the global cyberspace domain and with military operations in the physical domains (land, sea, air, and space). The DoD continues to struggle to adapt its C2 methods from the physical domains to the cyber domain. Applying traditional military C2 constructs to the cyberspace domain leads to several problems due to the uniqueness of cyberspace from the other domains. Cyberspace presents a very different operational environment than the physical domains, where time and space are compressed.

In this paper, we describe the factors that make cyberspace different from the other operational domains and the challenges those differences impose on existing C2 constructs. We propose a campaign of experimentation, consisting of a series cyberspace C2 experiments, to address these challenges by conducting research into the taxonomy of C2 nodes, decisions, information, and relationships, which can be used to simulate and refine DoD cyberspace operations C2 constructs.

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