Some Thoughts on Deterrence in the Cyber Era

Abstract:

Although cyber is an increasingly important instrument of national policy for deterrence and coercion, our understanding of how it functions is still weak and underdeveloped. This article explores some traditional notions of deterrence that must be remembered and reinvigorated, and notes aspects peculiar to cyber that must also be explored. Traditional deterrence makes clear the importance of promises and the difficulty in telling what the other side values and fears, and how it sees the world. Cyber conflict poses special problems in the uncertainties and ambiguities involved in, and related to the lack of shared understandings about what would constitute escalation.


AUTHORS

Photo of Robert Jervis

Columbia University New York, New York, 
U.S.A.

Robert Jervis is Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics at Columbia University. His most recent book is Why intelligence fails: lessons from the Iranian revolution and the Iraq war (Cornell University Press, 2010). He was President of the American Political Science Association in 2000-01, received the National Academy of Science’s tri-annual award for behavioural sciences contributions to avoiding nuclear war, and is the founding editor of the International Security Studies Forum.

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Keywords

C

C2
C2S
CDX
CIA
CIP
CPS

I

IA
ICS

S

SOA

X

XRY

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