What We Have Is a
Failure to Communicate
Merging electronic warfare, cyber warfare and electromag-
netic spectrum disciplines is needed to safeguard the nation.
BY JIM LOERCH
The realization that the U.S. military is losing its comfortable superi- ority over the airwaves has pro- pelled the Defense Department to
transform the electromagnetic spectrum into a new warfighting domain.
This endeavor comes on the heels of
the revolutionary doctrine change that
established the cyber warfare domain
not even a full decade ago.
Until now, cyberthreats have overshadowed electromagnetic spectrum
(EMS) concerns. Chiefly, serious cyberthreats to U.S. commerce and national
security caused by rapid technological
changes siphoned attention and dollars
from other domain coffers, including
funding to improve the use of EMS.
Given the significant overlap
between cyberspace and EMS—and
that cyberspace operates within the
spectrum—it is time to get rid of the
multiple oversight communities and
establish a common electronic war-
When the Defense Department tackled emerging cyberthreats, it did so by
quickly establishing cyber commands
even before authorities could fully agree
on definitions governing cyber, cyber
warfare and how to carry out operations
in cyberspace. To clear up some confusion, the department issued Joint Publication 3-12(R), which, in part, outlines
U.S. soldiers and an electronic warfare
(EW) trainer observe the spectrum of
frequencies used for communications
during the Marne Focus exercise in
June. A group of EW personnel test
reaction times by jamming their
communications during the exercise.