Date of Award


Document Type



Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Robert F. Mills, PhD


Historically, the United States Congress has acknowledged that a separate branch of military service is required to exert supremacy over each of the recognized Domains of Operation. Throughout the evolution of modern warfare, leading minds in military theory have come to the conclusion that due to fundamental differences inherent in the theory and tactics that must be employed in order to successfully wage war within a domain’s associated environment, a specialized force was needed - until now. With the recent inclusion of Cyberspace as an operational domain by the Department of Defense, the case should be made that it, too, is far too specialized an area to be rolled up into any or all of the current branches of service.
This research investigated the concept of cyber power in the 21st century, what it means to wield it, and how this capability may be used to wage war. It argues that cyberspace as a domain should be treated no differently than the traditional warfighting domains: that it, too, is an arena where defense may best be secured by attacking the enemy, where battles occur for control of territory, where denial affects combat in other domains, and where political motives dictate the course of hostilities. Because the strategic challenges and concepts are the same and yet the environment so specialized, the research concludes that the only way to properly secure the domain and to prosecute war effectively is to create a U.S. Cyber Force.

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