Airpower Lessons for an Air Force Cyber-Power Targeting Theory
Cyber targeting and associated doctrine should be the center of Air Force cyber strategy and its plans to organize, train, and equip a force for full-spectrum cyberspace operations. Understanding what targets cyber operations can affect is critical to deliberate planning or crisis planning. This paper attempts to draw parallels to early airpower targeting principles in order to propose a cyber-power targeting theory based on offense, defense, and exploitation objectives. It draws upon limited artifacts inherent to wielding cyber power—attribution, authorities, and centers of gravity—and acknowledges their impacts upon leaders and practitioners of cyber power. In addition to focusing on the adversary, the theory is intended to cause introspection toward the end of identifying potential Air Force and national security vulnerabilities in, through, and from cyberspace.
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