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How the military misapprehends cyberspace — and how that in turn undercuts cyber deterrence.

An atomic bomb blast in Nevada in 1951. (Wikimedia Commons)
An atomic bomb blast in Nevada in 1951. (Wikimedia Commons)

“Every policy document on cyberspace begins with the notion that it is interconnected — and yet we declare it a military domain, rather than a domain in which the military must operate simultaneously with allies, adversaries, the business sector, and individuals. Interconnectedness means that national security actors are in contact with other players and, unlike in strategic environments in which deterrence might succeed, it suggests that strategy must assume that contact and action are never absent.” — Richard Harknett, in a letter on the fall 2017 issue of International Security

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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