U.S. Cyber Strategy: An Offensive Realist Perspective

By Alejandro Ramos

The United States needs a national cybersecurity strategy with a punch. Its adversaries overtly (and covertly) use cyberspace to mold the international world order, attempting to influence domestic and foreign affairs thousands of miles away. Some have even publicly stated that information warfare—to include disinformation and propaganda—is part of their cyber strategy. America must respond accordingly. The U.S. government should design an offensive realist cyber strategy that prevents and counters information warfare, reports on the use of offensive tools and techniques that deny adversarial actions, and shames adversaries who use cyber methods against our country. The U.S.’s rivals and the rest of the world must perceive that its cyber response is powerful, but more importantly, that it is willing to use it to enforce redlines. Without such a strategy, the United States will concede its preeminence in the post-Cold War international world order to rising powers whom take more aggressive cyber actions.

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