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Thermonuclear cyberwar

Abstract: 
The article introduces cyberwarfare and explains the deterrence methods in nuclear and cyber warfare. It focuses on the sharp contrast between nuclear warfare which relies on transparency in which actors display their power and use threats and cyber warfare which relies on deception, secrecy, and surprise. The article argues that nuclear warfare is fairly stable, while cyber-attacks are unstable and occur more frequently. However, when cyber warfare is combined with nuclear warfare, there is a lot of uncertainty and even more potential for destruction. The article introduces the idea that if a cyber attacker could disrupt a country’s Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications (NC3), they would have power to create as much chaos as they wish. Because of this, a large amount of resources should be spent on improving policy, updating security, and making sure that senior leaders in government fully understand and permit cyber actions against another country’s NC3. Key words: cyber operations, undisclosed vulnerabilities, US Strategic Command, NC3, brinkmanship, cyber intrusions, deterrence, cyber power, nuclear stability, and cyber-nuclear coercion.
Author: 
Erik Gartzke
Institution: 
Oxford University
Year: 
2018
Input By: 
Oliver Heins
Affiliation: 
MIT
Region(s): 
Industry Focus: 
Chemical
Electronics
Internet & Cyberspace
Datatype(s): 
Bibliographies & Reports
Case Studies
Indicators
Policies
Theory/Definition