Rules of Engagement for Cyberspace Operations: A View from the United States
Journal of Cybersecurity 3(1), March 2017
32 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2016 Last revised: 9 Aug 2017
Date Written: June 15, 2016
Cyber weapons provide U.S. forces with operational choices that were previously unavailable. To use these weapons with greatest effect, the U.S. military seeks to integrate them into its operational toolkit within a common framework of principles that apply to all weapons. While the U.S. military has had decades of operational experience formulating rules of engagement (ROEs) for kinetic weapons, several characteristics of operations in cyberspace complicate the formulation of cyber-specific ROEs. Sensitive issues related to command and control and escalation of force play important roles in shaping cyber-specific ROEs. The paper’s conclusion is that a paucity of similar experience with cyber operations will hamper the formulation of ROEs for cyber weapons unless special efforts are taken to impart such experience to civilian leaders and military commanders.
Keywords: Rules of Engagement, Command and Control, Escalation, Offensive Cyber Operations, Cyber Weapons
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