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Cyber war and cyber power. Issues for NATO doctrine.

For some time, terms prefixed with “cyber” have tended to become buzzwords in the international security debate. Cyberwar, cyber attacks and cyber threats were frequently mentioned in the discussions on NATO’s new Strategic Concept and seemed to determine one of the new tasks for NATO in the 21st century. Concrete events like the “Stuxnet” attack on Iranian nuclear facilities helped to increase the hype. However, the debate as a whole lacked a clear vision of WHAT cyber threats actually are, against WHOM they could be directed and WHO is going to deal with them. There is an urgent need, particularly from NATO’s point of view, to define what the role of the Transatlantic Alliance in responding to cyberspace could be.

The aim of the new Research Paper is to structure the debate by proposing key definitions and ways for NATO to act. The document is available at

Author : NATO Defense College (NDC – Rome) Research Paper 62, by Jeffrey Hunker

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