Cyberdeterrence and Cyberwarfare


The future of warfare is going to be held in cyberspace. Cyberspace is described as a place that holds its own medium and therefore has its own rules. The book I read was called “Cyberdeterrence and Cyberwar” by Martin Libicki written in 2008. In the book we are told about the in and outs of the Internet and how it can be used against us. It also covers the dangers and future possibly detrimental attributes it has. Cyberspace is a virtual medium and it can be imagined as 3 layers, the physical layer, a syntactic layer a semantic layer. The physical layer, which is the first layer, is described as a large group of boxes lying under the other two layers, take away the physical and all the layers go away. Over time cyberspace will eventually evolve into a medium of conflict where government and civilian information structures are at extreme risk. This warfare is all based on deception, as even today we are not able to discover the identity of attackers. In this day and age hackers are able to hide their location through rerouting systems. Computers are growing more and more complex and yet their actions are growing less intuitive in their usage. But it is assumed that all computer systems mischief is the fault of the systems owner.

Cyber warfare involves the actions by a nation-state or international organization to attack and attempt to damage another nation’s computers or information networks through, for example, computer viruses or denial-of-service attacks. RAND research provides recommendations to military and civilian decision makers on methods of defending against the damaging effects of cyber warfare on a nation’s digital infrastructure.” (Site) Deterrence of this mischief comes in two strategies, by denial or by punishment. The deterrence of denial is described as the expressed intention to defend a certain interest and the deterrence of punishment is described as the demonstrated capability actually to achieve the defense. A purely defensive strategy is very risky so it is best to be on the offensive side of the ball. We as a country are better off taking the fight to our adversaries and keeping the war out of our backyard. But this becomes increasingly difficult with the development of new technologies, which allow hacking to become an easier task. There is no forced entry in cyberspace just people who persuaded the system to do what they want it too through bugs and viruses most people receive by logging onto websites or opening emails.


NATO is at the forefront of Internet protection. “NATO is now taking threats as seriously as Russian tanks and nuclear weapons it was created to deter. But the alliance has a long way to go just to shore up its own network defenses, and it explicitly eschews any role on the offense.”(NATO) I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the many precautions that are being taken to protect our internet and personal files. I think cyberwar is a definite future in our life and I believe it is something we will witness in our lifetime.


Libicki, Martin C. Cyberdeterrence and Cyberwar. Santa Monica, CA:                         RAND, 2009. Print.

“NATO Hews To Strategic Ambiguity On Cyber Deterrence.” Breaking                        Defense. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2015.

“Site-wide Navigation.” Cyber Warfare. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2015.


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