The Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT) is here but is the U.S. military truly prepared for it? Lieutenant Colonel George D. Hasseltine, U.S. Marine Corps, and Brown University Executive Master in Cybersecurity (EMCS) 2019, addresses this issue head-on in an essay, called Commanders Need Cyber Weapons for Maneuver Warfare, that won second place in the Naval Institute’s 2018 Cyber Essay Contest and appeared in the latest publication of Proceedings.
Based on research for his EMCS Critical Challenge Project, a program capstone requirement, Hasseltine’s research recommends pushing “offensive cyber” from the highest levels of the U.S. Department of Defense to forward deployed, tactical units across the military services. Driving this change is the new reality that on the modern networked battlefield, every node is a potential target.
Mission analysis and problem framing that previously centered on geographic and physical terrain layers must now also consider logical and cyber-persona layers,” said Hasseltine. “This requires a paradigm shift in how the services conduct enemy analysis, develop cyber capabilities, and define the tactics and conditions for their employment.
Though some cyber capabilities are expanding across such tactical units, cyber warfare remains heavily weighted on the strategic use of discrete cyber weapons that require significant time to develop and become quickly obsolete.
As commanders and planners begin to see the battlefield beyond the physical domain, they increasingly will see new options to employ cyber attacks. When these new cyber weapons are technically mature, military units must expand their approaches to problem framing to imagine possibilities for cyber employment. They need to be prepared when the weapons and authorities are presented to them.
In his award-winning essay, Hasseltine underlines the advantages of cyber-centered training and capabilities across all levels of the chain of command to increase the survivability and mission success of military units. He also provides a warning for inaction in a world of rapidly evolving technology that is easily accessible to our nation’s adversaries.
Commenting on the value of EMCS in this achievement,
EMCS provided a comprehensive understanding of cybersecurity which enabled me to blend my military experience with forward-looking technology for real-world impact. The program is exactly the right choice for leaders seeking to seamlessly tie cyber into their current outlook and future opportunities.
To read his full essay in Proceedings, go here.
To learn more about Lieutenant Colonel Hasseltine, listen to an interview with him in this Executive Master in Cybersecurity Info Session.
You can also read more news about him, CrowdStrike Awards George Hasseltine EMCS ’19 a NextGen Scholarship and 1st Place Policy Prize at CSAW Global Cyber Competition Goes to EMCS ’19-based Team
About Lieutenant Colonel George D. Hasseltine, U.S. Marine Corps
Lieutenant Colonel Hasseltine, a career infantry officer and veteran of the Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan campaigns, is assigned as the regimental inspector and instructor for the 23rd Marine Regiment and previously commanded 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. A graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, Joint Military Intelligence College, and Naval War College, he is a military advisor for Stanford University’s Hacking4Defense courses and is currently enrolled in Brown University’s Executive Master in Cybersecurity Program.