Special operations and cyber warfare
Tebedo, Jason C.
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As the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) prepares for future conflicts, some have questioned its ability to conduct Special Warfare and Surgical Strike in all domains of warfare, to include the cyber domain. This thesis examines the applicability of cyber operations to U.S. special operations and whether the cyber support provided by the United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) is sufficient to meet USSOCOM's potential cyber requirements. It explores USSOCOM's congressionally mandated core activities and how cyber operations could promote such activities. Finally, the thesis provides a decision theory and operational design analysis of how USSOCOM could build its own internal cyber capability - if USSOCOM determines USCYBERCOM cannot meet the cyber requirements of the special operations community. The researcher was unable to conclude as to whether USCYBERCOM's cyber support to USSOCOM was sufficient. USCYBERCOM's cyber support structure is still too immature for analysis and therefore necessitates future research by USSOCOM. The thesis does conclude USSOCOM can improve their special operation's efficacy by incorporating the cyber domain. Finally, the research concludes, if USSOCOM were to build a cyber capacity, the reflagging of the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade would be the best course of action.
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