Could the creation of a U.S. Cyber Force help secure the space cyber domain?

In 2019, the Department of Defense formally stood up the United States Space Force taking responsibility for the space domain and the employment and protection of U.S. military space assets and functions.  Creating a separate service whose sole focus is the space domain allows for the proper allocation of resources and manpower to own and operate space assets with the expertise and care they deserve.  For years, space was treated as an uncontested domain the U.S. military was free to exploit with little impunity for its assets such as widespread availability of GPS anywhere in the world.  We now know that the days of operating space assets in the vacuum of space without risk is coming to a close as nation states develop anti-spacecraft weapons, technology, and cyber threat techniques to deny satellites the ability to operate freely. This has led some to the opinion such as James Stavridis’ Bloomberg opinion piece that in addition to a Space Force, we should be thinking about standing up a Cyber Force service.  I agree.

Starvridis mentions that with the creation of U.S. Cyber Command we have been able to advance and strengthen are cyber security posture, however, it still lags well behind the threats imposed by nation state actors (Stavridis 2023).  Just like the reinvigoration of space operations with the creation the U.S. Space Force, a U.S. Cyber Force would have the investments of resources and dedicated manpower required to protect our land, sea, air, and space cyber assets.  Right now, each of the components have a component dedicated to cyber operations that report up to the U.S. Cyber Command but this relegates these as Starvridis puts it- “a pick-up team approach” (Stavridis 2023).  Elevating this to a service branch would allow for the recruitment of cyber professionals commensurate with civilian counterparts with the required experience and knowledge to protect, defend, and utilize assets such as our vast space based networks to combat the threats from nation states and rouge individuals.

Works Cited

Stavridis, James. 2023. “Bloomberg.” The US Military Needs to Create a Cyber Force. March 8. Accessed March 8, 2028.