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Title: From spectre to spectrum : effective military offensive network operations
Author: Moore, Daniel
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Cyber-warfare is frequently discussed and rarely seen. Network incidents classified as warfare mostly fall below the required threshold, and instead are varying criminal acts or peacetime information operations. That we distinguish where cyber-warfare begins and ends is essential towards using it effectively. The spectre of cyberwar can and should be turned into a spectrum of military offensive network operations (MONOs). This thesis argues that the underlying characteristics of MONOs draw heavily on existing military thought, and that MONOs can be best employed by militaries by correctly categorising them. By exploring the idea of intangible warfare - conflict waged through non-physical means such as the information space and the electromagnetic spectrum - existing operational and strategic doctrine can be adapted rather than reinvented. While MONOs are often discussed as a monolithic operational space, they can usefully be divided into presence-based and event-based operations. The former are strategic capabilities that begin with lengthy network intrusions and conclude with an offensive objective. The latter are directly-activated tactical tools that can be field-deployed by personnel to create localised effects immediately. This top-level distinction is abstract enough to be usable by military planners and researchers and specific enough to create two meaningful categories. Once defined, the two categories are applied against military thought to show how different MONOs can contribute to the overall military effort. Three chapters are then dedicated to an in-depth examination of MONO strategy demonstrated by the United States, Russia, and China. Each of the three exhibits a unique approach to intangible warfare stemming from differences in culture, resources, history, and circumstance. It thus becomes possible to observe the relative advantages and disadvantages of each military and how they stand to benefit by better employing MONOs.
Supervisor: Rid, Thomas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available