Originally published: February 20, 2013
Last updated: February 20, 2013 - 3:37pm
Until very recently, America’s battles have all been waged somewhere in physical space—on land, in the air, on water or in outer space. Many of these domains come along with inherent features that make life harder or easier in battle. Americans are quickly learning now about a fifth domain: cyberspace.
In some ways, this battlespace is the same as the others. It’s an arena where countries are competing with one another for political or economic advantage. But it’s also different in some fundamental ways. And how the world decides to use this space will go a long way toward determining how disruptive -- or destructive -- war in this domain will become. Michael Hayden, the former CIA director under President George W. Bush, believes the United States has a lead role to play in setting up man-made institutions to shape state behavior. Unlike air, sea or land, Hayden told an audience at George Washington University Tuesday, cyberspace “is almost defenseless. There are no natural barriers up here in this domain.” There are a few ways to solve this problem. One is to make some cyber activities prohibitively costly. A more significant step would be for Americans to decide how they want to be protected in cyberspace. It’s a more complicated problem than today’s debates over information-sharing and privacy currently capture.
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