This is an excerpt from the introduction of my new book, War At The Speed Of Light.

In June 2016, NATO declared cyberspace (computer networks and the Internet) as an “operational domain,” a battlefield as real as air, sea, land, and space. This declaration recognizes cyber warfare and electronic warfare as two crucial new elements of warfare.

To succeed in this new battlespace, the US military must be equipped with capabilities to defend or attack information networks in cyberspace (i.e., cyber warfare) and to control access to the electromagnetic spectrum (i.e., electronic warfare). As a result, the US military is integrating cyber and electronic warfare to achieve an effective defense and offense in this new battlespace.

Cyberwarfare typically involves operations disrupting, exploiting, or crippling adversaries through information systems and the Internet via the use of computer code and computer applications. It often includes launching cyber weapons wirelessly. That means transmitting cyber weapons as electromagnetic radiation, similar to radio waves, traveling at the speed of light.

Until a little over a decade back, cyber warfare was the stuff of theoretical scenarios by security professionals. However, it is now apparent that hackers can cause just as much damage as traditional military attacks. We will discuss this at length in the coming chapters.

Electronic warfare is military action involving the use of directed energy to control the electromagnetic spectrum, such as radar, radio transmissions, and laser beams, to deceive or attack an enemy or to protect friendly systems from similar actions. The goal, according to the Department of Defense (DOD), is to use directed energy weapons to disrupt an electromagnetic field, resulting in jamming and deceiving information managed by computerized systems or electronic platforms, such as surveillance or telecommunication satellites. With high power, these weapons can also burn out the electric circuitry of an adversary’s weapon, resulting in the destruction or interference of its function.