The U.S. cannot fall into the trap of focusing on warfighting domains when debating responses to an adversary, said Gen. John Hyten, the head of United States Strategic Command.

“There’s no such thing as war in space; there’s just war. There’s no such thing as war in cyber; there’s just war,” Hyten said while speaking at the annual Space and Missile Defense Symposium Aug. 8 in Huntsville, Alabama. “We have to figure out how to defeat our adversaries, not to defeat the domains where they operate.”

The general, who has led STRATCOM since November 2016, circled back on that point later in the speech, warning that America’s assured dominance in air and space over the past 15 years could lead the Pentagon into bad habits.

“You can’t fall into the trap of saying ‘There’s a space problem, so I’ll ask the space guy to go fix the space problem,’” he said. “It’s a problem with an adversary. I may not want to [direct] a response to a space problem in space. ... I may go a different direction. So, it has to be from an adversary perspective, not a domain perspective.”

Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.

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