NATO Summit to Designate ‘Cyber’ as Operational Domain of Warfare

UEDEM, GERMANY - OCTOBER 06: A soldier works in the NATO Combined Air Operations Centre on October 06, 2015 in Uedem, Germany. Here the german airspace get controlled and air operations get started. (Photo by Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images)
Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images

NATO currently recognizes air, sea, land, and space as operational domains of warfare, but at next month’s Warsaw summit meeting, the alliance is expected to add “cyber” as the fifth domain.

In fact, Reuters relates German Major General Ludwig Leinhos’s prediction that NATO’s 28 members will make it unanimous.

Leinhos has been spearheading Germany’s effort to develop a dedicated cyberspace warfare command, known as the Kommando Cyber und Informationsraum (Cyber and Information Space Command.) In April, Jane’s 360 reported that the German command would include about 300 personnel dedicated to cyber operations.

“Evert Dudok, a senior official with Europe’s largest aerospace company Airbus Group SE, called for adoption of Europe-wide or global standards in the cyber arena,” Reuters adds.

The United States already declared cyberspace an operational domain of warfare in 2011. The distinction is important because it suggests the U.S., and soon its NATO allies, would respond to cyber attacks as if they were military assaults.


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