Gaining Clarity in the Cyber Realm

The Defense Department has made slow, but steady progress in developing an “effective, mature” cyber policy that outlines appropriate rules of engagement for operating in this domain, as well as roles in missions and command and control, said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, on March 12. Levin, speaking during a SASC oversight hearing delving into cybersecurity issues, said the joint staff “is ready to issue its first-ever document covering cyber doctrine,” which will include rules of engagement for military commanders. In addition, DOD has developed “a set of emergency action procedures for cyber crisis situations, similar to the processes in place and regularly exercised for nuclear and ballistic missile defense operations,” he said. He added, “The fact that these foundational policy frameworks and planning actions are now just taking shape, serves as a stark illustration of how immature and complex this . . . warfare domain remains.”