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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2009
Last week at the InfowarCon Dan Kuehl handed me a copy of "Cyberpower and National Security." This has been a topic Dan has been exploring in some detail for quite a while. I first met Dan in 1996 when I was a student at the USMC Command and Staff College. Dan was already writing and exploring concepts related to cyber power and information warfare, and his deep focus and insights into this still emerging mission area continues today.

About the book, it is big. Not just in pages (it weighs in at 642 pages). It is big in info. Chapters are written by some of the greatest thinkers of the Cyber War mission area. Folks like Dan Kuehl, Edward Skoudis, Greg Rattray, Martin Libicki, Irving Lachow, Tim Thomas, Tom Wingfield and of course the editors Franklin Kramer, Stuart Starr and Larry Wentz. These and the other contributors are all well respected thought leaders and each provide insights I believe will be of use to today's strategic planners.

As for the content, it starts with a great foundation and overview of what is meant by Cyberspace (building on Dan Kuelh's well articulated definition) and also spells out key issues that policy makers and national security strategists must tackle. It then spells out changes in cyberspace including projections into the near future, and ends with an analysis of the impact of all these changes- including the considerations we must think through in our strategic deliberations.

I now consider this book a critical foundational work that should be studied by anyone who seeks to dialog on modern national security issues. This book does for the strategic domain what the Common Audit Guidelines did for the operational cyber domain. Cyberpower and National Security (National Defense University)
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2010
The National Defense University, the sponsor of this book, has produced an excellent collaboration on the related subjects of Cyberspace and Cyberpower and their influence on National Security. The authors selected for this effort appear remarkably competent for the task and have together produced a highly informative and useful book.
Unlike so many books in this genre, this book begins with an accurate and well developed definition of "cyberspace" that brings the concept from a vague buzzword to a concrete multi-tiered system. The authors of this book are particularly adept at identifying and analyzing the layers and protocols that constitute cyberspace. Perhaps most importantly one chapter discusses the role of the Department of Defense developed Global Information Grid (GIG) which is base for military use of cyberspace. Although the book makes a valid reference to the misnamed Global Network, it fails to note that the GIG actually is a component of this network. Still it nails the concept of cyberspace very accurately.
Given its sponsor the book of course devotes a good deal of attention to the military use of cyberspace particularly in its central role in the latest iteration of command and control doctrine called `Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance' (C4ISR) which the basis for the "network centric warfare" concept which has been widely adopted by the U.S. Navy and Air Force. Still the book also includes information of considerable importance to non-military applications of cyberspace and the concept of civil infrastructure protection.
This leads to the concept of cyberwar in which an enemy tries disrupt or destroy targeted military and civilian computer networks by means of hostile computer systems. The prospect of cyberwar is the foundation for one of the most interesting series of discussions in this book on the subject of"cyberpower."
The late U.S. Navy Admiral Arthur Cebrowski was a strong advocate for the evolution of naval command and decision systems to C4ISR systems. He also had a very significant idea on cyberspace, which he argued was the new "commons" on which 21st Century commerce would depend. This represented a modernization of A.T. Mahan's concept that the sea represented the `commons' on which maritime commerce was based. ("Transforming Military Force", Praeger 2007). In this book it is argued that cyberpower is analogous to sea power and a 21st Century mission of the U.S. Military is to acquire and maintain control over cyberspace much as it remains the Navy and Air Force missions to acquire and maintain control over the sea and air.
This book is one the most complete and technically accurate books written to date on the increasingly important issues of cyber warfare and cyber security.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I like the book and I like the authors and I do NOT like the fact that neither decision-support nor intelligence (decision-support) nor M4IS2* are in this book. Retired Reader's review--at five stars--is the review I would have written were I to read the book rather than just appreciate it via Look Inside the Book, and he and I have discussed the intellectual and leadership vacuum we all have in cyberspace where most simply have no idea what they are doing.

* Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making (M4IS2)

I must defer to Retired Reader and Bob Gourley on the good of this book, and hence five stars from em as well. However, and with proper regard for the the vastly experienced and well-intentioned authors, it troubles me that they do not include core concepts and context such as were developed by Robert Garigue, who died at the age of 55 before being able to produce his master work. His Preface to my third book, Information Operations: All Information, All Languages, All the Time and a couple of his briefings that I have featured at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, are all that we have to remember his towering genius. As with all my books, all free online.

Here is Robert Garigue's bottom line: cyber-power--and cyber-security and what some would call today cyber-command (actually an oxymoron) are about TRUTH & TRUST. All this stuff about protecting legacy systems that are 90% rubbish or interdicting and interfering with the 10% of our enemies that have sophisticated system, is out of touch with reality. The Chinese have whipped our butts on both stealth and riding electrical circuits into NSA's computers and they did it because we pretend that spending money on contractor vapor-ware (SAIC's Trailblazer comes to mind) is somehow equivalent to being competent at something useful.

This brings me to the bottom line: cyber-power does not exist in a vacuum. It is, like a weapon, an extention of the humans that it serves or empowers. Right now US cyber-power is--to the extent it is even relevant or effective--being managed by gerbils (Madeline Albright's term, not mine) for utterly unsound and intellectually as well as morally bankrupt ends--and it is not doing a single thing to help infantry squads see over the next hill, survive improvised explosive devices that still cannot be detected (on behalf of the Marine Corps, my #1 requirement for MASINT in 1988 after seeing the wood-encased IED's in El Salvador in 1979-1980) and on and on.

I take the time to provide this extended comment here because I agree with Retired Reader and Bob Gourley and others--this book is important. It is however, terribly incomplete and out of context, and that is something I would like to see NDU correct as soon as possible. Cyber-power is strategic, operational, tactical, and technical; it should TRANSFORM how we do policy, acquisition, and operations, to include enabling multinational "eight-tribe" operations in which cyber-power HARMONIZES a shared view of the challenge, the solution, and the campaign.

I have a graphic at Phi Beta Iota that I used in my presentation to NSA in Las Vegas, from Mich Kabay, on Cyber-Threat 101. FIFTY PERCENT is from errors and omissions--and I will just quote Paul Strassmann, at the time (1992) Director of Defense Information--"Information Technology makes bad management worse!" We are throwing money at vendors in the name of cyber-power when there are only 67 people in the USA doing code-level research on information security, and none of them work for a vendor. [See my piece 2010: OPINION--America's Cyber Scam in Homeland Security Today.] We are doing nothing on the tri-fecta of cyber-power, open spectrum, free/open source software, and open source intelligence. The government managers do not have a strategic framework (cyber is about humanity, not computers), they have no clue how to evaluate the vapor-ware claims of the vendors, and they will all be long-retired before they can be held accountable for blowing hundreds of millions of dollars (witness the last five or six NSA chiefs).

I could go on but I will save the rest for anytime in the future that NDU wants to think about Round II.

Argh. 5 stars for intent, 4 stars for missing half the picture, 5 because Retired Reader and Bob Gourley cannot be denied.

See Also:
Transformation Under Fire: Revolutionizing How America Fights
Breaking the Phalanx: A New Design for Landpower in the 21st Century
Peacekeeping Intelligence: Emerging Concepts for the Future
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace
THE SMART NATION ACT: Public Intelligence in the Public Interest
INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainaabilty
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on January 10, 2012
This was one of the few books I've read on cyber policies that doesn't seem to have an apparent axe to grind. It lacks the hysterics and political agenda a number of other recent books have, and it is a very good tutorial on the various facets of "cyberwar" from political, military, economic, technical and legal perspectives. Definitely a must for the professional, as well as those seeking a primer on this subject(s).
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on July 5, 2014
First things first, this book is not a how-to guide for hacking! This book covers the fundamentals of cyberpower theory, both technical and political. Although written in 2009, the political and policy frameworks discussed have aged relatively well. Still, an updated edition is overdue.
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on November 3, 2011
These days, it is really difficult to find one book that covers both technical and academic perspective. I think the most important facts about cyber power and national security could be delivered through this book.
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on July 22, 2015
Excellent book. Hopefully will be updated soon!
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on November 14, 2014
Great book for Introduction to Cyber World
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2011
As a grad student this book has been a valuable resource. Each chapter succinctly describes its topic with referential ease.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2013
I found the book to be rather very focused on the US instead of taking international Cyberpower and national strategy.
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