Cyberspace Is Not a Warfighting Domain

Published in: I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society, v. 8, no. 2, Fall 2012, p. 325-340

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2012

by Martin C. Libicki

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In the beginning was the land domain; with the discovery of flotation came the sea domain. A century ago, the air domain was added to the list; a half-century ago, the space domain was added as well. Within the last quarter-century, the combination of ubiquitous networking and universal digitization has given rise to cyberspace, the newest addition to the growing family of domains. Cyberspace, we are told, pervades the other domains in the sense that warfighters in each of the prior domains would be severely handicapped if their access to cyberspace were successfully challenged. Thus understood, cyberspace has become the new high ground of warfare, the one domain to rule them all and in the ether bind them, which, as this essay will argue, is the wrong way to view cyberspace and what militaries can do by operating "within" it.

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