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CYBER-WARFARE, SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Time to Rethink Our Views on War in the 21st Century – Part II

(Part 1 here)
Frameworks that work give us a way to shape our thinking around hard topics. Below is David Aucsmith’s framework for the cyber domain of war. Following his list point, I morph this into how people of faith can view the world around them – a world plunging into disorder.

1. Cyberspace is a domain of war created by computers and communications. Computers and telecommunications systems have created the cyber domain. It is a global common through which travel the requisites of armies and the essential trade and commerce of nations. Bill Gates calls it the velocity of business but the cyber domain of war perspective has nothing to do with profit or selling widgets. States and non-states actively contest its sovereignty and freedom of use.

2. Technology creates domains of war. This new technology introduced radical changes in how society, commerce, and government operate. At some point, and we are living this, now, the technology radically changes warfare as well by creating a sphere of influence and control, allowing force to be projected from the nascent domain onto other domains. Over time, war in this space is fought with and for the technology in the nascent domain.

3. The characteristics of the technology define the character of war. Domain specific features lead to domain specific attacks. It is the domain’s unique, peculiar characteristics, which are the consequences of the technology that created the domain, which define how war is fought in the domain.

4. The unique characteristics of cyberspace have created a domain of war with two distinct personalities. Cyberspace is the first domain of war where fighting From the domain has radically different tools, techniques, and procedures than fighting within the domain. Fighting from cyberspace acts against another, physical domain whereas fighting within cyberspace acts within a virtual world.

Pause – Quantum War is coming. It will seem to emulate the domain of cyber war but will possibly straddle different domains of time… With the same dual nature as detailed in #4, above. Read H.G. Wells’ book, Time Machine.

5. War from cyberspace is Western warfare. War from cyberspace is not a radical departure from modern military thought. It is network-centric warfare and an extension of Western war, or conventional war, through another domain.

6. War within cyberspace is guerrilla warfare. War within cyberspace is not traditional Western warfare. It is not conventional warfare. It is anonymous war based on surprise, deception and mobility rather than decisive engagements. It focuses on a large number of small battles rather than a small number of large battles.

7. The nature of war in cyberspace has implications for offense and defense. The cyber domain compresses time and space. Actions in cyberspace are near instantaneous without regard to geography. One can attack anywhere from anywhere. This creates an asymmetry with profound implications for defense and offense.

8. The nature of offense and defense in cyberspace has implications for strategic policy. War from cyberspace is an extension of Western war in a new domain with new capabilities and new risks. War within cyberspace is completely new and allows the extension of irregular war into the very heart of Western societies. This will be war against the ability to fight and will to continue.”

The value of Carl von Clausewitz’s book, On War, is that it provides a timeless framework for reasoning about war rather than a time or technology-dependent set of principles. He said that he “intended to provide a thinking man with a frame of reference, rather than to serve as a guide, which at the moment of action lays down precisely the path he must take.” I like that.

The technology that created the cyber domain of war, and soon, I believe, the Quantum domain of War, endows each with unique and peculiar characteristics that differentiate them from the other domains of war. Though the domain of “Spiritual Warfare” is not a formal domain of war in western thought, it has been with humanity since Adam and Eve – before Cain introduced the Land Domain of War by killing his brother with a rock. It is fascinating that technology has brought humanity to a point where we have a domain of war that emulates the spiritual domain. Aucsmith’s framework lands in five themes that are common to the domains of war – and as we increasingly see, the spiritual domain. They are Force, Tempo of Operations, Lines of Communications, Strategic Mobility, and Friction.

Each theme, the unique and peculiar characteristic of cyberspace and Quantum space, should be evaluated relative to several core tenets, though not always in the same order. For example, force in cyberspace is unique in its characteristics. The technology of cyberspace gives force its unique and peculiar characteristic in tenet three. The same will be true in the fledgling Quantum Spaces. Force in cyberspace defines war from and within cyberspace, exercising tenet four. Force also supports the dual personality of the cyber domain, tenets five and six, and what it contributes to the implications for operations and strategic thought, tenets seven and eight.

Why did I take you on this rather unique, geeky look at war? Paul said our enemies are not flesh and blood, but rather Thrones, Dominions, Principalities, and Powers (Colossians 1: 16). As a student of history and War, I use Clausewitz’ On War, and the framework of the domains of war to understand this.

Like the cyber domain of war, Thrones and Principalities come at us 365 days a year, 24 hours per day with no respite. It is unconventional Guerrilla war in that it smashes into our lives seemingly at random from no particular direction. Yet, from those realms, Thrones, Principalities, Powers, and Dominions apply Force, exercise their unique lines of communication, have a tempo of operations, and experience friction in their combat as the faithful lift up prayers and supplication to our father in Heaven. In response, our Creator uses his angels and people of faith in spiritual war that straddles time past, time present, time future in his own tempo of operations, strategic mobility across the ten dimensions of creation, applied to friction points across humanity focused on the Cross.


Clearchus is the author of three Science Fiction books: Sunigin, Insurgio and Certo (Available at Amazon) about the next Texas Revolution. He is a retired Army Field Artilleryman who was one of the last men in the U.S. Army to command an M110 8" Howitzer firing battery. He currently designs computer networks for commercial, non-profit, and government environments. Married for 32 years to the most gorgeous babe he knows, he and his wife have four kids. Their lives and perspectives straddle military assignments, combat tours, and mission trips across Europe, Asia, and the Horn of Africa.

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