Kevin Coleman is a senior fellow at the Technolytics Institute and former chief strategist at Netscape. (File)
Cyber operations are a major part of current trends in modern warfare. That trend has given birth to the concept of special cyber ops. I have written and lectured about this before and have to say that the need for such highly specialized capability is becoming apparent.
Just consider the research, development and utilization of battlefield networks and the demand for such a group becomes evident. Like many have said, we are in a new age of warfare.
Some organizations around the world have taken to isolating their military systems and critical infrastructure from the Internet. This is a false sense of security!
Organizations and systems that may be highly valued targets must consider that many modern control systems have local (1,000 meters) of wireless communications built into them. If the military strategy is to disrupt these systems rather than destroy them, Special Forces equipped with cyber special ops capabilities would be a valuable asset. They could covertly approach the location, say, to within 1,000 meters, leverage any local communications built into many of these systems, plant cyber weapons and slip away.
The same operation might be conducted behind enemy lines to disrupt an adversary’s battlefield networks. That would greatly impact any military’s routine operations and interfere with their standard operating procedures. It would not be difficult to see a SEAL team performing a similar mission against an adversary’s naval battle group.
It is clear that we are very early in the evolution of network-centric warfare. After all, it really has not been around that long. The concept of net-centric warfare first surfaced back in the 1990s and was pioneered by the U.S. Department of Defense.