The Leavenworth Way of War

History Discussion at CGSC

H111 Generalship and Innovation

Given the popular view of WWI generalship as incompetent and unimaginative, is this view valid? Was there a way avoid the huge casualties of WWI without losing the war?

One of the more progressive things that the WWI leadership advanced was the role of the airplane. In Great Britain they went so far as to create a new service, the Royal Air Force, to manage the new dimension of war.   This was an unprecedented step in military history. Today a new dimension of war is Cyber warfare. Do you think that a Cyber Force –a new service, separate from the other three traditional services, led by its own Chief of Staff is necessary to ensure that the US military has the capability to fight Cyber warfare as part of the joint warfighting team as effectively as necessary?

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November 18, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

4 Comments »

  1. Yes, I believe a new Cyber Force as a separate service is necessary for the US military to conduct Cyber warfare. The imperative for a Cyber Force is clear – it not only allows the US military to defend against existing cyber threats, but also provides an additional offensive capability option for the US military to exploit.

    A separate Cyber service is necessary to establish a community of Cyber experts to develop this niche capability. A single agency coordinating requirements and developing techniques, tactics and procedures (TTPs) provides an efficient way of raising a Cyber Force. It will also provide the necessary focus and ensure the proper allocation of resources to support the development of this capability. A separate service, with title 10 responsibilities, can act as a generating force to produce cyber units for the operating force (i.e. GCCs).

    Comment by Luke Goh, SG 19B | November 19, 2015

  2. I do believe there should be a cyber force (command). It is important to have a central point that can make informed decisions that allow integrated action through the other services. These actions can be information gathering or specific action against targets. If independent services acted independently of each other, it could lead to doubled efforts or working against each other. Having them work together through cells, boards, or liaisons it would act with unity of effort and with efficiency. In today’s tightened and limited resources, it is important to be as efficient as possible.

    Comment by MAJ Neil Hogie, SG 19B | November 30, 2015

  3. I agree with both Luke and Neil about the need for cyber force separate from the other traditional services. One point that I believe is important to note is that this force should not solely by a Title 10 agency, it would necessarily straddle multiple USC authorities. Cyber at the national and strategic level is inherently covert or clandestine, and would require authorities not traditionally reserved by the DoD. Additionally, many cyber activities would support the DoS and other agencies operating abroad under Title 22.

    With that in mind, each service must also maintain a tactical cyber capability. Similar to the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps all having air capabilities, each service would maintain cyber capabilities for both offensive and defensive operations. With presumably some exceptions, these tactical level cyber operations would fall under normal military activities.

    Comment by Kyle Johnston | November 30, 2015

  4. I believe that a Cyber Force should be created, and that it needs to be a separate entity from the traditional services. However, in order to effectively enter and win in cyber warfare, we need to eliminate inter-service and inter-agency redundancy. We need to establish roles and responsibilities within the DOD; possibly even coordinating inter-agency and across the whole of government. This is the only way to streamline technological advances, establish operating practices, and stay on the cutting edge of development.
    If we, for example, establish a Cyber branch in the DOD, I believe it will essentially be a liaison branch of service where it takes current cyber technology from the civilian sector and implements it into Army systems. I do not foresee a world in which DOD research and development (R&D) surpasses R&D in the civilian sector. Therein, we will likely have to continue to rely on contracting and outsourcing cyber development to maintain the edge required to counter emerging threats.
    I believe this Cyber Force would need to be entirely embedded with civilian and agency sector cyber operations. Because of a near reliant relationship on the civilian sector, I’m not sure it “fits” into the DOD.
    The United States government needs to establish a unified authority to conduct cyber warfare. If that’s in the DOD, then it must be a unified effort from agencies such as the NSA, CIA, and the DOHS. All agencies must get on the same page, eliminate redundancy, maximize effort, and make the most of human and financial capital in the highly competitive cyber war.
    On a separate note – I disagree with the popular view of WWI generalship as incompetent and unimaginative. I believe it is unimaginative to study/examine WWI and use hindsight (20/20) as a lens of examination. It is very difficult to examine the environment with a full understanding. Political and military decisions in the period were often as developed as they could be given the knowns of executing ground combat. Negative externalities play a large part on decision-making, and it is difficult for us to understand them without researching and entire period (i.e. 1910 – 1925), instead of just researching the WWI itself.

    Comment by CPT Andrew Bame | November 30, 2015


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