United States Cyber Command is less than four years old. The merger and stand down of the Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare (JFCC-NW) and the Joint task Force for Global Network Operations (JTF-GNO) formed the bulk of the new organization. 9 This new construct integrated offensive and defensive cyber capabilities in one organization resulting in efficient and effective planning and execution of cyberspace operations. United States Cyber Command is tasked with operations to defend DOD information networks and to conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations across all domains. 10 United States Cyber Command is also tasked with ensuring US freedom of action in cyberspace and denying freedom of actions to our adversaries. This freedom of action requires a clear relationships to reach full potential. In a GAO report to congress on July, 2011 we find the following:
DoD has assigned authorities and responsibilities for implementing cyber operations among combatant commands and military services; however, the supporting relationships necessary to achieve command and control of cyber operations remain unclear. According to the National Military Strategy for Cyberspace Operations, we can achieve cyberspace superiority only if command and control relationships are clearly defined. 11
The goal of reaching full potential in cyberspace operations starts with building close relationships between the cyber service components and finding the best way to support the GCCs. This process underway and is constantly reevaluated. The formation of USCYBERCOM was important. It elevates cyberspace in the mind of the warrior and in the consideration of the planner. If the desire is to operationalize cyber it needs to move beyond the strategic control of USCYBERCOM. The GCCs and JFCS will need to share in the control of military cyber capabilities as they do with capabilities of other domains. Trying to fit global assets into a regional or geographic operational framework is not an easy task. War gaming and C2 exercises will help with this evolution of thought and military theory.
USCYBERCOM’s centralized control of cyberspace operations does not give GCCs the desired seamless integration of military cyber capabilities into theater planning and can adversely impact the synchronizations of actions across the area of responsibility. Cyber forces OPCON is retained by the supporting commander, but the GCCs control the pace of cyberspace operations within their area of responsibility (AOR). USCYBERCOM has the responsibility for determining priority in the application of forces. In other words GCCs may be competing for the same resources. A regional commander needs at least shared control of enough combat power to get the job done. USCYBERCOM recognizes the complexity and importance of command relationships concerning GCC cyber requirements. COCOMs are responsible for fighting wars. They determine what training services must...