Table of Contents
Cyber collisions are becoming more frequent and destructive. From the freezing of Estonia’s internet, to the sabotage of Iran’s uranium enrichment program, to the hacking of the U.S. election campaign, and the WannaCry and NotPetya attacks, cyber weapons are no longer novelties. They are an increasingly prevalent and important tool of coercion.
To come to grips with the implications of cyber power, policymakers as well as scholars and average citizens naturally turn to historical comparisons. Many analogies are widely invoked - the role of railways in hastening World War I, Cold War information operations, and the use of drones in combatting terrorists are only a few. Analogies are also used to inform policies to prevent or defeat conflict: Is deterring cyber attack similar to deterring nuclear or conventional war? Could cyber-enabled economic warfare be more effective than earlier forms of economic conflict? Is it possible to effectively defend against cyber attack?
The chapters in this volume, written by eminent scholars and recent government officials, shed light on how different analogies inform and misinform our understanding of cyber weapons, cyber conflict, and emerging strategic thinking. The concluding chapter summarizes some of the unique features and challenges of cyber conflict, and offers insights for policymakers around the world navigating the new cyber terrain.
“We need to learn from the past, but the danger with historical analogies is that we will too quickly fix on a single one, biasing and narrowing our vision. By giving us a wide range of them, these fascinating essays both teach a lot of history and greatly enrich our understanding of the complexities of cyber conflict.”
—Robert Jervis, author of How Statesmen Think
“Perkovich and Levite have brought together the greatest minds on cyber and national security, and in the process they have produced the most comprehensive work to date on the threats posed by cyber and how we should think about mitigating them. The book is must reading for scholars, students, analysts, and policymakers involved in this complex and rapidly growing and changing threat.”
—Michael Morrell, former acting director and deputy director, Central Intelligence Agency
“The editors of this very useful work are spot on in their judgment that we have not yet gotten the big ideas of the cyber domain right. We are struggling to see what of our experience in physical space actually transfers to this new domain. Perkovich and Levite have assembled an impressive list of contributors to move that dialogue forward. That makes Understanding Cyber Conflict a must read for anyone who wants to master the complexities of this new space.”
—Michael Hayden, former director, Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency
“Everyone is looking for the right analogy to understand cyber conflict. This volume of expert essays considers them all, and thus fosters comparative analogical thinking that provides real insight into the challenge of cyber conflict.”
—Jack Goldsmith, Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Law, Harvard University
“Analogies can be insightful but also dangerously misleading. Perkovich and Levite have done the policymaker and media commentator a big favour by assembling expert opinion on when it is safe to deploy cyber analogies and when not. Their opening chapter should be compulsory reading for any commentator tempted to apply to today’s cyber threats and cyber strategies the apparent lessons of 9/11, Pearl Harbor, Vietnam, Cold War deterrence or Munich appeasement.”
—Professor Sir David Omand, War Studies Department, King’s College London, former Director of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
5 New Tech Books for Urbanists
—Ian Klaus, Citiscope