Distinguishing Acts of War in Cyberspace: Assessment Criteria, Policy Considerations, and Response Implications
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA STRATEGIC STUDIES INSTITUTE
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Currently, there is no internationally accepted definition of when hostile actions in cyberspace are recognized as attacks, let alone acts of war. The goal of this monograph is to provide senior policymakers, decisionmakers, military leaders, and their respective staffs with essential background on this topic as well as to introduce an analytical framework for them to utilize according to their needs. The examination canvasses existing decisionmaking policies, structures, and influences to provide a holistic context for the assessment that extends beyond limits of the legal and technical communities. Its approach focuses on the synthesis and integration of material from existing experts, deferring the detailed analysis to the many published studies. Such broad coverage of many complex issues necessarily requires simplification that may negate certain nuances expected by experienced professionals in those fields but it is hoped that readers understand these limitations. The purpose is not to prescribe or dictate a specific methodology of assessment rather, it is to introduce decisionmakers and their staffs to a portfolio of options built around the concepts of characterization, assessment criteria, policy considerations, and courses of action consequences.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics