Journal Article - Journal of Cybersecurity

Rules of Engagement for Cyberspace Operations: A View From the USA

  • Michael Sulmeyer
  • Herbert Lin
  • C. Robert Kehler
| March 2017


"Cyber weapons provide US forces with operational choices that were previously unavailable. To use these weapons with greatest effect, the US military seeks to integrate them into its operational toolkit within a common framework of principles that apply to all weapons. While the US military has had decades of operational experience formulating rules of engagement (ROEs) for kinetic weapons, several characteristics of operations in cyberspace complicate the formulation of cyber-specific ROEs. Sensitive issues related to command and control and escalation of force play important roles in shaping cyber-specific ROEs. The article’s conclusion is that a paucity of similar experience with cyber operations will hamper the formulation of ROEs for cyber weapons unless special efforts are taken to impart such experience to civilian leaders and military commanders."

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For Academic Citation: Sulmeyer, Michael, Herbert Lin and C. Robert Kehler. Rules of Engagement for Cyberspace Operations: A View From the USA.” , (March 2017) .

The Authors