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Published on Apr 18, 2008
Lt. Col. David Fahrenkrug, chief strategist for the 8th Air Force and the person responsible for the Air Force's cyberspace concepts and strategies, is to try to explain cyberwar in the real world. "There is a lot of misunderstanding about what cyberspace is, and a lot of what we are engaged in now is educating people," he said."My job is trying to communicate it in ways that people can grasp."
Fahrenkrug has an urgent job because the Air Force formed a provisional Cyber Command in September and plans to establish a fully operational one in 2008.
The Navy and Army also have their own cyberwar programs, but some observers say the Air Force's decision to create the first command devoted to cyberwar operations makes it the service leader in developing military expertise for cyberwar.
The Strategic Command, which also has a cyberwar program, revealed earlier this year that it was teaming with the National Security Agency to develop the ability to attack foreign adversaries' networks.
Understanding cyberspace The military has been challenged to convince people that cyberspace is about more than computers and networks, said Daniel Kuehl, professor of information operations and assurance at the National Defense University's Information Resources Management College. Cyberspace is also about how TV can be used to influence people and how electronics and the electromagnetic spectrum can interact.
"Just like in the real world, you have the airspace and aircraft that inhabit it and outer space and satellites," Kuehl said. "So with cyberspace, you have the naturally occurring EM spectrum and the man-made electronics technologies that exploit it."
The understanding of that and other important perspectives about cyberspace is still developing.