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Strategy in the Contemporary World

Strategy in the Contemporary World (7th edn)

John Baylis, James J. Wirtz, and Jeannie L. Johnson
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date: 03 June 2023

p. 27716. Cyber Conflict in the Age of Great Power Competitionlocked

p. 27716. Cyber Conflict in the Age of Great Power Competitionlocked

  • Ryan C. Maness,
  • Rebecca Lorentz
  •  and Brandon Valeriano


This chapter explains the concepts of cyberspace, cyberpower, cyber strategy, cyber security, and cyberwar and illustrates how cyberpower manifests today among both state and non-state actors. Managing information is part of a persistent challenge that is not unique to any time or place. What is different today is the speed of transmission and the reach of information, which are both aided by cyberattacks and cyber-enabled technologies that leverage digital communications. Search engines, video platforms, and encrypted messaging services allow for loaded phrases to return troves of fake stories and narratives reflecting extremist ideologies in the infosphere. The Covid-19 pandemic also brought along what can be dubbed an ‘infodemic’, where disinformation about mitigation and vaccines has yet to bring the crisis to a definitive end. These developments carry transformative national security implications for all societies. Cyber conflict—the use of digital technologies in military interactions or military affairs in the realm of international affairs—is also occurring. Cyber conflict involves direct cyberattacks that are aimed at opponents’ digitally enabled systems.

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