Jeffrey L. Caton is President of Kepler Strategies LLC, a veteran-owned small business specializing in national security, cyberspace theory, and aerospace technology. His recent work includes space and cyberspace presentations to the Kazakhstan National Defense University supporting the Partnership for Peace Consortium. He is also an Intermittent Professor of Program Management with Defense Acquisition University. Prior to this, Mr. Caton served five years on the U.S. Army War College faculty including Associate Professor of Cyberspace Operations and Defense Transformation Chair. He served 28 years in the U.S. Air Force working in engineering, space operations, joint operations, and foreign military sales.
Complexity and Emergence in Ultra-Tactical Cyberspace Operations
This paper explores how the concepts of complexity and emergence can affect cyberspace operations that occur beyond human perception and intervention, such as automated cyber attack responses. It first introduces the concept of the ultra-tactical as an additional realm of operations in the traditional strategic-operational-tactical framework. The context of this realm is compared to human cognitive processes as well as machine processes used to aid human decision making. Potential biases intrinsic in both processes are identified and evaluated. Factors that contribute to the complexity of cyberspace environment in ultra-tactical time scales are reviewed and the potential impact of emergent events on automated decision making protocols are examined. Futuring methodologies are used to develop feasible operational scenarios which are in turn used to evaluate the benefits and risks inherent in implementing automated responses that operate without human cognitive interaction. Specific focus of the analysis includes determining if automated responses will be robust enough to accommodate the dynamic nature of cyberspace and if they can differentiate adversarial threats from natural emergent behavior.