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Activity title

Analysis of cyber operations in high intensity military operations

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System Analysis and Studies

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balance of investment, capability based planning, costbenefit analysis, Utility and risk assessment


Both nation states and non-state actors are increasingly using cyber-related means to support their interests world-wide. This includes military conflict, where the inclusion of cyber operations has become more prevalent. The public discourse is increasingly open about cyber operations and how different nations use their capabilities. However, from a scientific point of view, the advantages and disadvantages of using different types of cyber-related means in different situations are less well known. This is partially a result of the ongoing rapid development of cyber capabilities, as well as a lack of a rigorous analytical framework to analyse the possibilities and implications of cyber operations in a given context. Exploring and developing approaches to support analysis in this area is a way to address some of these knowledge shortfalls. In particular, the use of cyber operations in the context of a larger scale, high intensity scenario is especially unexplored or researched, and thus in need of a focused research effort.


The overall objective is to improve the ability of NATO nations and armed forces to determine optimal use of cyber operations (COs) in high intensity scenarios, or in other situations with a significant component of military activity in the physical domain. This will be done by establishing an analytic approach to: 1. assess the utility of using cyber operations as part of a high intensity military operation, contributing to military objectives and the desired end state; 2. define tasks and functions necessary to integrate cyber operations in a high intensity military operation; 3. inform cost-benefit analysis at the strategic level (balance of investment) when allocating funds for capability development across defence capabilities


Utility and risk assessment, operational effectiveness and measures of merit, cost-benefit analysis, balance of investment and capability based planning.

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