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The Security Index Occasional Paper Series came out with the new report «The New Cyber Age: How the United States is Entering Global Competition in Cyberspace» by Sergey Sebekin

20.05.2021

MOSCOW, MAY 20, 2021. PIR PRESS. The Security Index Occasional Paper Series came out with the new report «The New Cyber Age: How the United States is Entering Global Competition in Cyberspace» by Sergey Sebekin.

This research paper focuses on a new US cybersecurity strategy that has moved from a traditional deterrence policy to a policy of persistent engagement. The author draws attention to its criticism by the expert community since this strategy can lead to the militarization of cyberspace. The author also gives recommendations that are useful for Russia when interacting with the United States on cybersecurity issues.

Key findings:

  • Recently, in the military-strategic and expert thought of the United States, one can hear more and more statements that the world is entering into the long-term strategic competition between great powers.
  • According to US expert and strategic thought, the established strategy of deterring cyber threats, based on only two methods (by punishment and by denial) is ineffective. Therefore, the existing concept of cybersecurity needs modernization and a transition to a strategy of persistent engagement.
  • The ongoing conceptual changes are accompanied by the evolution of politico-military institutions and changes in the corresponding policies to ensure that the new strategy of persistent engagement can be implemented in practice.
  • Through persistent engagement with the help of tacit negotiations, the United States hopes to clarify the distinction between acceptable/unacceptable behavior in cyberspace and to stimulate the process of forming rules of acceptable behavior in cyberspace through the gradual accumulation of empirical experience by other countries.
  • New US strategic documents do not adequately attempt to examine the possible escalation that could arise from the persistent engagement strategy.
  • The United States is not ready to wait for any positive dynamics in the negotiations on the issue of ensuring international cybersecurity. It is already clearly turning cyberspace into a place for conducting active operations and militarizing it.

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