The United States still struggles to find effective policies for deterring cyberattacks.
Cyber warriors in the United States are preparing for a digital Cold War, deterring cyberattacks against specific critical infrastructure—when what is most urgently needed is a counterinsurgency (an “e-surgency”) strategy to beat back the everyday cyberattacks that individually never rise to the level of acts of war. On their own, these strikes may not directly threaten national security. But taken together, they target this country’s civic center of gravity and pose a clear danger to U.S. values.
Skepticism abounded both inside and outside of government when then-President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping included special provisions for reducing commercial cyber espionage in their far-reaching September 2015 bilateral agreement.