This strategy is critical in protecting us from cyber-attacks that are continually increasing in being problematic not just nationally but globally. In order to implement an effective strategy, there are elements within that are required.
One element is the United States has to demonstrate strength through resolve, willpower, and capability in deterring an adversary from attacking the United States or any of its military branches and its allies. At the same time, the United States has to demonstrate it is capable and ready to defeat its adversaries which will bring strong support from its allies. Another element is the ability to dissuade an attack. And the only way this is possible is by the United States investing in technical capabilities and developing strong internal support to execute these capabilities (Kramer, Starr & Wentz, 2009). The United States should obtain capabilities in offensive countermeasures which will demonstrate it has cyber power thus deterring a cyber-attack.
No matter what strategy is implemented, there is no guarantee it will not bring further attacks. As threats and technology changes so will the need to constantly change the strategy (Iasiello, 2013). Regardless, this type of policy is possible if those policymakers understand deterrence and all that encompasses cyber deterrence. There has to be clear communication at a national, international level and this includes adversaries; signaling, similar to times of war, an intent to retaliate in a way that will not benefit the attacker. There should be attribution in order to establish an analysis of the adversaries’ intent and its operations. One other element that a cyber deterrence policy will work is insuring the retaliation is proportional to the attack and not to extreme where it can cause a reaction of greater consequences.
In my opinion, the state at a local level and the policymakers at a national level are responsible in establishing strategies to defeat these threats whether it is through force or through deterrence. The state is responsible for maintaining ‘social conditions’ for all its citizens (Clausewitz, 2005). Some issues raised in deterring cyber-attacks are seen through the inconsistency of assuming responsibility at the state levels and its impact at times crosses over to other states. A cyber-attack is not equal to a nuclear weapon attack where it is monitored at a national level. A cyber-attack is not as transparent and much more difficult to monitor, not to mention know when one happens as it can be hidden cleverly by the attacker.
This does not mean solutions are at a far reach. Warfare has been a factor with many political policies that has helped with the growth of military strategy. It is seen more prominently through the development of traditional warfare to the modern or conventional type of warfare (Snyder, 2008). The use of a conventional warfare would be inadequate compared to a nuclear weapon as it relates to deterrence and is unable to prevent a nuclear attack where the adversary understands there are consequences to its actions. It can be said that the notion of ‘more may be better’ does not necessarily prevent conflicts using nuclear weapons from occurring. The hope is adversaries would reconsider an attack should it be made clear that a conventional warfare is not the only option.
The US policy of cyber deterrence should be extremely implicit. The notion that war is part of social life involving conflicts can only be settled by bloodshed is arguable. States should obtain nuclear arms as a way of protection. During World War II in 1945, the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima caused much fear throughout the states and its citizens. While we do not want citizens to be fearful, we do want our adversaries to be fearful of the destruction that will occur should an attack occur in cyberspace. Nuclear weapons are good in theory for deterrence; however, this idea is unlikely to be used. States should continue to have traditional cyber defenses in place and retaliation against an adversary should be measured by attribution, repeatability, how successful will the retaliation be that prevents an attack from happening again.