Mitchell Institute Releases New Entry in Policy Paper Series:
Network Superiority: The Foundation of Future Warfare

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD (September 18, 2018) —The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce the release of the 17th entry in its Mitchell Institute Policy Papers series, Network Superiority: The Foundation of Future Warfare, by Mitchell Institute Senior Resident Fellow Heather Penney. Penney’s new paper, released Monday at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space, and Cyber Conference at National Harbor, MD examines how the Air Force and the Department of Defense can better prepare its networks for the reality of information age warfare.

In an era where information stands as a critical tool for success in the prosecution of modern military operations, the Department of Defense is falling behind in providing combatant commanders a modern, effective wide area network, Penney notes. A key factor driving this challenge is the Department of Defense’s outdated perspective regarding information and the value it presents to modern combat operators. Due to a centralized information management approach within the Department of Defense that limits that individual service’s ability to exploit new operational concepts, the US military’s network capability lags behind commercial equivalents.

An alternative approach, Penney writes, is to embrace a “whole-of-nation approach,” where US-flagged network service delivery companies serve as partners in pursuing modern network superiority. Contemporary standards for cyber security, structures, and regulations must also move from being compliance-driven to being effects-based, Penney notes, and policymakers should also consider the creation of a dedicated intelligence center to focus on network analysis and assessment to gather important and relevant intelligence on adversary network capabilities that will inform future military plans and assessments.

The Mitchell Institute Policy Papers series is composed of white papers and occasional papers presenting new thinking and policy proposals that respond to the emerging security and aerospace power challenges of the 21st century. They are written for lawmakers and their staffs, policy professionals, business and industry representatives, academics, journalists, and the informed general public. The series aims to provide insights and in-depth perspectives based on the experiences and expertise of the authors, accompanied with studious supporting research.

For more information on the series, and inquiries about submissions, contact Mitchell’s Director of Publications Marc V. Schanz at or visit our website, at

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