Volume 8, Issue 1, Spring 2017

Dilating Pupils
The Pedagogy of Cyber Power and the Encouragement of Strategic Thought

Military practitioners face a daunting task; they must incorporate cyberspace and cyber power into an already complex suite of military applications. However, our nascent experience with the technology shows that we have yet to understand fully the domain's intricacies. Students of cyber strategy must acknowledge and respect the challenges inherent in this conundrum. Thinking strategically about cyber power is a complex endeavor. This article proposes that strategy is ultimately dependent on understanding one's environment and adapting to uncertainty; thus, we still have much work to do in the cyber domain. Biases and frameworks, many of which result from etymological foundations, often hamper our understanding of the cyberspace environment. In addition, contextual confusion often leads to polarization in the early literature and a tendency to use anachronistic analogies to aid in comprehension - both of which present problems to strategic thinking. Uncertainty in cyberspace is a product of the dialectical nature of strategy and the limits to useful information - both organic and synthetic - inherent in cyberspace and in our application of cyber power, therefore making adaptation critical to the cyber strategist. To make the most of their intellectual journey, students of cyber strategy must attempt to address these challenges or, at the very least, respect them.

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