Shameless Self-Promotion, part 2: Cyber War Edition

Like my co-blogger Matt Fay, I too have been absent from this blog for far too long. Work and grad school applications (I’ll be attending the LBJ School at UT Austin starting this fall) became a veritable time vortex, but I am hoping to (albeit slowly) get back to blogging now. I will probably post more quick hits rather than lengthy analyses, since I am in fact going to grad school, but hopefully the blog will pick up pace over the summer. Since this is a comeback post of sorts it is only appropriate that it involves my work . . .
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Using Straw Men and Questionable Strategic Assumptions to Defend Profligate Defense Spending

Max Boot is Unamerican! OK, that might be pushing it a bit too much, but it never ceases to amaze me how weak these so-called hawks think the United States is. Any strategic restraint is a French surrender, and every minor budget cut is a disaster. This blog post could be written about Max Boot just about anytime, but I was particularly inspired to write something today because Boot is at it again. This time it's 'weak' Republicans who are in his sights–Republicans who are considering making substantive, though far from brutal, cuts to defense spending over the next . . .
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Making the Case for Ambiguity in Cyberstrategy

Cyberspace is a whole new game. We have to start from scratch and build brand-new concepts, doctrines and strategy. Or so it goes. The inherent ‘newness’ of cyberspace has lead most countries to start a painstaking process to define cyberspace, in particular the security aspect of it. The novelty of cyberspace can be quite overstated, but in some ways old rules do not apply—or, at least, they are not as well served in this new domain. One particularly fascinating and important example of this is the role of ambiguity in policy. How to define cyberincidents and determine thresholds for . . .
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Should the United States Create a Cyber Militia?

Is a volunteer force of cyberwarriors the best available solution for a strong national cyberdefense? That is one of the questions raised at this year’s International Conference on Cyber Conflict (ICCC) in Tallinn, Estonia. The idea behind a volunteer force is that because most states do not have the resources to have a standing cyberforce capable of stopping large-scale attacks, states can rely on a large militia of volunteers in case of emergency. These volunteers would keep their day job, but should a large attack take place they could “take to arms” and protect private and government networks. It . . .
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Lowering the Attack Threshold in Cyberspace

Last week I criticized the new “International Strategy for Cyberspace” put out by the White House for not being specific enough about the military aspect of cybersecurity. There is a general lack of specificity in policy on this subject matter, and the international cyberstrategy perpetuated the trend of using big words to say very little. However, the Obama administration is seeking to address some of these shortcomings. The Pentagon is coming out with its own strategy document in June, and the Wall Street Journal got some inside information on it this week. The big news? The U.S. military is . . .
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The U.S. International Strategy for Cyberspace: Liberal Internationalism in a New Domain

Last week, the White House released its new strategy document for cyberspace, called “International Strategy for Cyberspace: Prosperity, Security and Openness in a Networked World.” Yes, I know. Another strategy document from the Obama administration. How exciting! For those skeptical about the utility (not to mention entertainment value) of a document that purports to sketch out a vague strategy for a rather vague topic, your fears are not entirely unwarranted. It has its fair share of platitudes and meaningless language; yet sifting through these weeds you find some interesting bits and pieces.

The first thing that struck me is . . .
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The Reading List: Cyberwar, American Exceptionalism and Libya, and Democratic Peace Theory

Keeping up with foreign policy news and international relations literature is a never-ending task. There is just too much good stuff being written. “The Reading List” is our semi-regular column featuring noteworthy articles and books we've read recently. Not everything on this list is new, but always worthy of your time.

Wow. It’s been over a month since last time. Apologies all around, though I guess the events in Egypt, Japan, and Libya are decent enough excuses for procrastination and distraction. We’ve also been keeping busy with other stuff, including write-ups and reviews of Robert D. Kaplan’s new book Monsoon . . .
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