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Alexander C. Dukes International Politics Dr. Roberts 27 October 2009 Cyberwar and Hegemony Abstract:

The following writing sample is an excerpt from the beginning of my fall 2009 term paper for the Political Science and Cyberspace course at Tuskegee University.

The purpose of this paper is to examine cyberwar through the United States, China, and Iran. Cyberspace, put simply, is the virtual space through which all information is passed, stored, and manipulated. Today, Cyberspace permeates nearly every aspect of the government and economy of the developed state, and many developing states. As technology progresses and world wide cyberspace continues to connect us, states will use cyberspace with ever increasing effectiveness to fight both “hot” and “cold” wars. I will examine the increasing economic and military reliance on cyberspace that the United States and its allies currently maintain and discuss vulnerabilities in these electronic systems. Finally, for case study, this essay will examine the recent tensions between the United States, Iran, and China. The American Civil War produced many innovations that changed the nature of warfare- the concept of trench warfare, mechanized rifle systems, and metal-hulled ships all saw their birth during the Civil War. One innovation in particular would mark the beginning of a communication revolution in the discipline of war-fighting. Thaddeus Lowe, a scientist and professor with expertise in aeronautics used his fleet of hot air balloons to spy on several Confederate armies throughout the war. Here, Lowe used his hot air balloon and telegraph system to deliver near instantaneous information regarding the actions of the Confederate armies. Lowe directed artillery fire from his balloon, noted Confederate troop movements, and spied the activities within the enemy camps to predict what actions the Confederates may take later in the day. The wider view of the battlefield provided by his balloon combined with the use of his telegraph system to communicate instantaneously with battlefield commanders enabled him to deliver more information to Union generals about troop placements than previously possible (Smithsonian). The most notable of Lowe’s missions occurred at the Battle of Fair Oaks. During the battle, Lowe aloft in his balloon observed that Confederate forces were preparing to march on a small force of Union soldiers. The Union troops, under the command of
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General Heintzelman, had broken off from the larger ranks of the battalion and crossed White Oak Creek in an attempt to repair a damaged bridge that impeded the Union advance. Unknowingly, these soldiers placed themselves in danger of being encircled by the Confederate troops Lowe spotted. Seeing this drama aloft in his balloon, Lowe alerted General McCellan via telegraph, who immediately ordered his troops to withdraw to the Union side of the creek. Had the Union lacked Lowe’s ability to quickly communicate the status of the imperiled troops to McCellan, Heintzelman’s troops would have likely been overwhelmed and defeated (Lowe 134-136). The majority of the literature on this incident highlights the use of aeronautic observation as being the significant development to be celebrated. However, without both the balloon and telegraph technologies operating in tandem, Lowe would not have been able to provide any useful information to McCellan. The balloon, a large target and a fairly cumbersome device to operate (requiring several men to keep steady) had to be kept at some distance from the actual battles it participated in. Without the aid of the telegraph, anything Lowe observed in the balloon would need to be delivered on either foot or horseback- too slow for the fast pace at which battle developments occurred. The telegraph solved this problem by providing a discrete, instantaneous communication link between Lowe’s balloon a hundred feet in the air and the Union commanders. The telegraph made the information gleamed from the balloon useful. Today the United States maintains an array of satellites miles above the earth that can take pictures of an individual person in Afghanistan, and then instantaneously send that picture to the United States for analysis. Much like Lowe’s balloon and telegraph system, the United State’s modern satellite network solves the problem of transporting information from outer-space by providing a discrete, instantaneous communication link between the satellite and commanders. The transmission of information from satellite to ground in this example takes place in cyberspace. Similarly, Lowe’s transmission of information from balloon to ground took place in cyberspace. Since the Civil War, the United States has taken keen interest in improving the ways in which its soldiers communicate. Most of these improvements have been made in the realm of the electronic communication networks that cyberspace consists of. Today, many claim that cyberspace may be just as critical a domain for war-fighting as the domains of land, sea, and airspace. Beginning with Lowe’s bold endeavors on the 19th century battlefield, the consideration of cyberspace infrastructure has slowly, but surely, crept up in importance as a strategic and tactical necessity. But what is cyberspace? Defining Cyberspace The notion of what cyberspace actually is, is a notion of significant debate (Anders). Within popular culture, cyberspace is typically portrayed as a virtual space that exists within digital electronics and is typically synonymous with the Internet. Many dictionaries define the prefix “cyber” as an attempt to imply the involvement of computers with the suffix word (Merriam Webster). In this sense, cyberspace is a “computer”-space, and cyberwar a “computer”-war. However, for the purposes of political scientists and those who study international politics, this definition is too narrow. For one thing, computers at their core are simply machines that manipulate,

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store, and transport information. When the information leaves a computer and becomes part of a different network (say, a radio network), is it no longer within cyberspace, and thus no longer appropriate in a discussion of cyberspace? And if this information is no longer within cyberspace, where is it? For the purposes of this essay, cyberspace shall be defined as a “virtual space” that consists of communication networks that have the ability to transport information instantaneously across the globe. These networks include, but are not limited to the Internet. Cyberspace also includes television, satellite, radio, and networks with limited access (such as military or intelligence service networks). Because any one type of electronic network can be made compatible with another- be it radio, television, telephone, or computer, it makes sense to consider these individual networks as a portion of a larger network. Information is information, after all. To be sure, these networks have their advantages and disadvantages regarding their ability to effectively convey any one type of information over another; however, all of these networks are able to instantaneously draw information from one another. Conceptually, cyberspace is a space in which any participant with the means to access cyberspace can instantaneously communicate or receive instantaneous communications from another participant. Cyberspace is utilized as an instantaneous communication tool in situations where it would be impossible to communicate instantaneously otherwise. In truth, this is the purpose of cyberspace. Newspapers, letters, and books are not part of cyberspace because they are not instantaneous forms of communication, and are limited greatly by distance. Furthermore, cyberspace allows mankind to control machines remotely. Computers, unmanned vehicles, and satellites are all controlled remotely through cyberspace. Such feats are impossible through physical print communication. Without cyberspace, much of our modern world would simply not exist. Cyberspace is a domain independent of the 3 traditional domains with which militaries are commonly associated: air, land, and sea. This is in spite of the fact that cyberspace is used across the three traditional domains as a form of communication. Cyberspace's permeation of the other 3 domains can be at some level compared to how airspace permeates land and sea, and greatly affects both. As it is with airspace in relation to the domains of land and sea, all 3 of the traditional domains use cyberspace in some way to increase efficiency and effectiveness. A disruption or infiltration of another state’s cyberspace has the potential to impair its ability to fight and communicate greatly. As militaries around the world become more reliant on the electronic communication technologies that make up cyberspace, the more vulnerable they become to the sudden loss of the ability to use these communications (Ahrari). Finally, Cyberspace gives states and their citizens the ability to store, manipulate, and transport information. Because states may claim a portion of worldwide cyberspace as their own, then a cyberwar is a war against another state's ability to store, manipulate, and transport information as it pleases. Using these definitions of cyberspace and cyberwar it is clear that cyberspace is a domain in which war can be waged.

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Works Cited [1]"Civil War Ballooning." Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Smithsonian Institution, n.d. Web. 5 Feb 2012. <http://www.nasm.si.edu/events/civilwar/>. [2]Lowe, Thaddeus. Memoirs of Thaddeus S.C. Lowe. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 2004. 134-136. [3]A): n. page. Web. 5 Feb. 2012. [4]"Merriam Webster Cyberspace Definition." Merriam Webster Dictionary. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 5 Feb 2012. <http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/cyberspace>. [5] Ahrari, Ehsan. "U.S. Military Strategic Perspectives on the PRC: New Frontiers of Information-Based War." Asian Survey. 37.12 (1997): n. page. Print. nders, Peter. "Anthropic Cyberspace: Defining Electronic Space from First Principles." Leonardo. 34.5 (2009

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