1. TITLE AND BIBLIOGRAPHICAL INFO: Cyberspace and the State: Toward a Strategy for Cyber-Power. Temple Place, London: The International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2011.

2. AUTHOR: David J. Betz and Tim Stevens          3. AUTHOR’S BACKGROUND: Betz: Dept of War

                                                                        Studies Professor at Kings College, Head of             Insurgency                                                                                  Research Group. Stevens: Betz’s PhD student

4. CONTEXT: Intended as a strategic primer on the new reality of the Information Age, of which cyberspace is a preeminent part, for those who would elect to intervene in it or mold it to their advantage. (acknowledgments)

5. SCOPE: Cyberspace and Cyberpower. Discussion of the unique characteristics of “cyber” while illuminating the persistent nature of war.

    EVIDENCE: US and UK strategic guidance, historical events


·       “Cyberspace is not all that new.” (13)

o   The basis of a cyber strategy is still the reciprocal interaction of human choice in conflict.

·       Balancing internet freedom and national security is difficult

o   “It is difficult to see how any government can achieve both of these objectives simultaneously, without substantially altering the ways in which cyberspace functions.” (71)

·       “The problem for future war horizon-scanners is not so much the degree to which they correctly apprehend emerging technology, it is the degree to which they understand the human motivations behind the usages of that technology” (124).



·       POWER:

o   Power does not exist without the relationship through which it is manifest (42)

o   Power=the production, in and through social relations, of effects on actors that shape their capacity to control their fate (42). Power is best conceived as a family of related factors (52).

o   Cyberpower can simply be thought of as the manifestation of power in cyberspace rather than a new or different from of power (44)

§  4 forms of cyberpower: Compulsory, Institutional, Structural, Productive

o   Unfortunately, the web does allow for an asymmetric advantage for an otherwise weaker actor.

o   Internet sometimes allows for the aggregate of peoples’ worst tendencies more than it does their best ones (34)

·       SOVEREIGNTY: (a concept wholly derived from politics)

o   The state is far from decline as some have suggested is the case in the age of globalization and technological advance (55).

o   Pragmatism wins over ideology…need to re-evaluate the relationship between the state and sovereignty (74)

§  For the state to thrive, it will have to accept that pure sovereignty in cyberspace may have to be delegated or at least relaxed.

o   4 categories: Domestic, Interdependence, International Legal, Westphalian (57)

o   3 forms of control utilized by states to filter access for their citizens: (66)

§  1st Gen: Deny users access to specific online resources through manipulation of Internet traffic

§  2nd Gen: Adopt a multi-faceted legal, normative and technical approach in order to allow states to deny access to information on an ‘as-and-when’ basis

§  3rd Gen: aim not at physical control but at effecting cognitive change through the use of information and propaganda campaigns

·       WAR:

o   As CvC suggested: the character of war is highly mutable, but the true nature of war changes very slowly if at all (76)

o   War has not gone away as some have suggested. Instead, we have not seen war as fought during WWII

o   Forming a strategy for cyberspace cannot begin on a false premise about the nature of war (81).

o   We cannot escape the ramifications of new technologies (83)

o   Similarities between AP advocates and Cyber advocates (85). Cyber advocates can learn several lessons from the AP story (87).

§  Both were concerned w/ restoring decisiveness to war and see in the new technology a potential means for doing so (84).

o   War, to be a rational tool of po9licy, must be clear about what that policy is (95).

o   Instead of the term “cyberwar”, the authors suggest “cyber-skirmish” (97)

·       DOMINION:

o   Cyberspace has the potential to alter the longstanding configuration of the commons, because of the key difference b/w it and other domains…the death of distance (102).

o   The main effect of cyberspace on the present international order is subversive: it changes the relative relationship of power among states indirectly (reshapes relations b/w state and non-state actors in ways that enable the latter to perform acts of ‘resistance’ in places and on a scale which it never could have done otherwise) (emboldens non-state actors)

o   “Cyberspace is like the chimera: what you make of it depends on the way that you are looking at it and why.” (116, 106) (where you stand is based on where you sit)

·       Martin Libicki’s model for cyberspace: physical (hardware)-syntactic (software and protocols)-semantic

(information exchanged), (37)


·       Stories of “cyber doom” are not useful, and neither is the all-inclusive use of the term “cyberwar

o   The scare tactics make it necessary to bring policy makers back to reality.

o   The debate over cyberwar conflates activities in cyberspace and elevates them to the level of war…problematic as it distracts us from the actual strategic context of the day (81)

§  Today: “a world of confrontations and conflicts rather than one of war and peace”

·       Cyberspace is not independent…simply another instrument of state power

o   Cyberspace cannot be separated from the rest of the ‘real’ world (41)

o   Does not, as airpower did not, obviate the other military capabilities, or change the objective nature of war (96).

·       There are other uses of cyberspace “beyond kinetic destruction or terrorism that can enhance the power of state and non-state actors.” (CTO Vision book review)


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