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CCSA Releases "Addressing Cyber Instability" Executive Summary

The Cyber Conflict Studies Association is pleased to release its Executive Summary for Addressing Cyber Instability, the precursor to the forthcoming monograph surveying the field of cyber conflict and focusing on key recommendations across policy, strategy, military doctrine, and law. The report focuses on alternative approaches and the role of non-state actors on defensive collaboration, in addition to examining the sources and consequences of an unstable cyber environment and its effects on strategy and deterrence. The main conclusions of the longer monograph are contained in this volume. The PDF copy is available for download here.

As the CCSA report discusses, cyberspace is an inherently unstable national security domain. Its fundamental characteristics—such as the low cost of entry, abundant access points, and the difficulty of attribution—alter traditional power calculations. This enables non-state actors to wage proxy warfare on cyber battlefields, beyond national accountability or control. The vulnerability of national critical infrastructure endangers whole civilian populations, and places private enterprises on the front lines. Additionally, the absence of international norms and comparatively low costs of cyber attacks create incentives for nations to launch preemptive strikes in a coercive attempt to forestall more traditional kinetic conflict. In such an unstable environment, the consequences of misinterpreted signals between nations may be catastrophic.

CCSA launched the executive summary today in partnership with the Atlantic Council's Cyber Statecraft Initiative, with sponsorship from Intelligent Decisions and Cisco. Please visit the Atlantic Council website for video of the launch event.

Contact Executive Director, Hannah Pitts at hannah (at) cyberconflict (dot) org, with questions or feedback. The longer monograph will be released in late summer 2012.

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