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Title: The Power of the Dark Side: A Theory of Cyberwarfare Deterrence
Authors: Min, Andrew
Advisors: Friedberg, Aaron
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2015
Abstract: Contemporary thinking from many American foreign policy decision-makers has led to an oft-repeated conclusion that deterrence strategies, which attempt to raise the expected costs and reduce the expected benefits of an attack in order to discourage potential aggressors from attacking in the first place, and which have underpinned us security policy since the beginning of the Cold War, are insu⇥cient to deal with the new threat of cyberwarfare—politically motivated actions taken by states in cyberspace against other state adversaries that leave impacts comparable to conventional acts of war—because of challenges posed by cyberwarfare’s novel technology. This thesis argues that this conclusion has been erroneously reached as the result of two factors: insu⇥cient knowledge on the part of engineers and policymakers regarding international relations theory, and insu⇥cient knowledge on the part of international relations scholars regarding cyberspace technology. When we synthesize these two knowledge sets, we find that traditional deterrence theories are, in fact, su⇥cient to meet the new challenge of cyberwarfare, particularly when compared to alternative strategies.
Extent: 127 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2017

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