|dc.description.abstract||The predominate cyber discourse has focused on the impact of information theft as it relates to personal banking and financial data with occasional journalistic exploration of cyber enabled industrial and defense related intellectual property theft informing economic and national defense circles. To date, little work has been published which explores the economic and international relations implications of cyberspace, and the associated exploitation of it, as it relates to obtaining advantage, military or economic, in the production of high-technology and defense related goods. Even more simplistically little research has been done which examines cyberspace as a warfare domain for national security with a critical eye.
Cyberspace allows for the storage of vast amounts of data virtually, the global transmission of this same data quickly and efficiently, and theft of this data easily if ill protected. The complete economic impact of this lost intellectual property to technological superiority and national defense is not yet fully understood, although the simple monetary assessments of its loss are beginning to be discussed.
This thesis aims to add to this understanding by examining the evolution of cyber power exploring it as a domain for U.S. war, current impediments to the recruitment of U.S. cyber professionals also known in defense circles as cyber warriors, and the use of cyberspace by the People’s Republic of China as a means of enabling intellectual property theft. These focus areas were researched as a means to develop the idea of cyberspace warfare. The inquisitive logic stream aimed to answer three questions:
(1) Is cyberspace an operational domain for U.S. warfare? (2) How does the U.S. recruit its warriors who fight and defend in cyberspace? (3) Who is an enemy or target of cyber war?
The body of this work concluded that cyberspace is not currently an operational domain of warfare, as it has been traditionally defined, but is a developing area that seems to be domain-like. The term domain-like was chosen to describe the current state of cyberspace as it relates to U.S. warfare due to the preponderance of cyber associated and attributed activity being leveraged as enabling functions to influence and shape actions and the environment prior conflict.
The influence fight in the context of cyber can be defined as the capability to leverage cyberspace as an enabler for traditional efforts within the physical domains of land, sea, air and space. For examples cyberspace is leveraged to obtain intellectual property, a feat that traditionally would have been done by acquiring a business sector through purchase or acquiring said intellectual property through espionage. Further research will be needed to examine the implications of growing cyber capability if its use becomes attributed to defensive or offensive military operations as an enabling or potentially integrated capability to operational domain warfare, and if the demonstrated capability becomes linked to a specific force or nation state.
Additional areas of research should examine the impact of technology growth and proliferation as fostered by the theft of large amounts of high-technology information via cyber exploitation. This work could help explore the implications of the proliferation high-technology information and industry trade secrets to current U.S. exports in high-technology and defense related areas.
It should be noted that the proliferation of the technical knowledge behind “the bomb” to the Soviets took years, and was undermined by several high-profile espionage cases (Gold, Greenglass, Fuchs, Rosenberg). It may now be possible to transfer this same type of technical knowledge, albeit separated throughout several industrial areas and defense base contractors, remotely via cyberspace with little to no public attribution or knowledge of its loss.
Thesis Advisors: Dr. Benjamin Ginsberg and Prof. Sarah Clark
Readers: Dr. Michael Warner and Dr. Kevin Woods||en_US