CYBER: CHANGING THE LANDSCAPE OF FOREIGN INTERVENTION IN DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS
SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIR AND SPACE STUDIES, AIR UNIVERSTY MAXWELL AFB United States
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National level democratic elections decide the chief decision-makers in a states government. Foreign powers view elections as a chance to intervene in order to influence a target states domestic and foreign policies to better align with their own national interests. When foreign states are motivated to intervene, they will look for opportunities to do so. Traditionally, this has required three components 1 the cooperation of a significant domestic actor 2 the willingness to accept the cost actual or perceived associated with intervention i.e. the benefits of intervention are greater than the costs and 3 the methods and tools for intervening are readily available. Cyber has had a significant impact on all three of the components foreign states consider when evaluating the opportunity to intervene. First, foreign states looking to intervene no longer require the cooperation of a significant domestic actor and can act unilaterally to influence public opinion. Second, cyber lowers both the actual and perceived costs of intervention. Finally, cyber methods and tools are available to almost anyone at any level. Cyber has lowered the barrier to electoral intervention. As a result, states should expect electoral intervention via cyber to continue with greater frequency in future elections.
- Computer Systems Management and Standards
- Government and Political Science