The Lawfare Podcast: Max Smeets on Why States Struggle to Develop a Military Cyber-Force

By Jen Patja Howell
Monday, August 29, 2022, 5:01 AM

“Cyberspace is the domain of modern warfare” is a popular headline in recent times. Recent state and non-state cyber attacks have given support to this notion, but beyond vague national cyber strategies and new cyber commands, not much is publicly known about a state’s military cyber capacity. 

To get a better understanding of the current state of militarization in cyberspace, Lawfare fellow in cybersecurity law Alvaro Marañon sat down with Max Smeets, senior researcher at the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich and the director of the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative. They explored Max’s new book, “No Shortcuts: Why States Struggle to Develop a Military Cyber-Force.” They also discussed the barriers of entry for states to participate in cyber conflict, how we should go about thinking about military cyber capacity, and how external actors can influence a state’s cyber capability development process.