Refining United States Policy on Offensive Cyber Operations
Air Command And Staff College Maxwell Air Force Base United States
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This paper examines United States and international policy related to offensive cyber warfare, specifically cyber exploitation and cyber attack. Current domestic and international policies lack mechanisms to classify offensive cyber operations into any discernable categories other than hostile acts. Recent cyber-attacks demonstrate how this policy void leads to stark differences in the ways nations perceive the role of the Internet and acceptable conduct in the cyber domain. Moreover, opaque national cyber policies increase the risk states will misinterpret each others intentions and actions, leading to inadvertent conflict escalation.