Wars of Disruption and Resilience: Cybered Conflict, Power, and National Security

Wars of Disruption and Resilience: Cybered Conflict, Power, and National Security

Wars of Disruption and Resilience: Cybered Conflict, Power, and National Security

Wars of Disruption and Resilience: Cybered Conflict, Power, and National Security

Excerpt

Building on a century of thinking about violent conflict in war, the argument begins with what is different about conflict today in a globalized, highly cybered international system. The emerging system looks more like city-states that never intend to fight each other again surrounded and interpenetrated by dysfunctional regions, or “badlands,” whose actors reach easily into the citystates. Arguing that emerging conflict and enemies are necessarily cybered, thus distant, likely hard to reach accurately, and extremely difficult to simply coerce into quiescence, this book offers a globally applicable underlying theory of why groups choose violence against distant strangers using cyberspace.

Cyber power is the national ability to disrupt this obscured bad actor somewhere in the digitized globe, whether nonstate or state, in proportion to its motivations/capabilities to attack with violent effects and yet be resilient against imposed or enhanced nasty surprises across all critical nationally sustaining systems. In this book, cyber power’s underlying strategic elements of both disruption and resilience are built piece by piece. History is employed to test the reasonableness of these elements, especially as knowledge-oriented imperatives for success. The case studies emphasize disruption as the harder case to make over destruction and, to a much lesser extent, resilience. The goal is to outline and argue for a national cyber power strategy that is long in time horizon, flexible in target and scale, and practical enough to maintain the security of a digitized nation facing violent cybered conflict.

The underlying approach is syncretic. Syncretism is distinct from synthesis in that it means to make conflicting explanations harmonize, whereas synthesis means to take pieces of each into a new composite. This work hence does not challenge the value or contribution of any relevant established theories of conflict or surprise, nor does it presume to take them apart; rather it seeks to put their insights into a unified strategy that demonstrates the complementarities of their central tenets.

First, to place disruption as a systemic feature of cybered conflict, this work adopts such a syncretic approach to what is already known and codified from . . .

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