When Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service was founded in 1919, it was a tumultuous time in world history. The First World War had just come to an end, the League of Nations was being created, and the United States was in a new position of prominence in the international system. The purpose of the school was to prepare people for this new uncertain and ever-changing world.
Today, as the school prepares to celebrate its centennial, the world is no less tumultuous. There are new actors and new forces in the international system, and the role of technology is unlike anything that could have been imagined in previous years. As the school prepares to address these challenges, one of the most important areas of concern is the cyber realm. In recognition of this challenge Georgetown University established the CyberProject in 2009. Each year since then we have convened the International Conference on Cyber Engagement. This conference brings together experts from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors from all over the world to analyze the most critical issues in the cyber realm and think creatively about ways to address problems.
One way that the CyberProject seeks to continue the conversation is through partnering with the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs on the publication of this annual special issue, International Engagement on Cyber.
The authors in this sixth special cyber issue bring a global view of some of the most troublesome aspects of cybersecurity that the international community faces. The Forum articles focus on the role of governments in formulating strategy to ensure the resiliency of the nation in the face of cyber attacks. The authors provide diverse perspectives on how states can ensure resilience from cyber attacks while balancing the constraints inherent [End Page 3] in domestic regimes. Specifically, the Forum articles assess the current U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Strategy and what it means for this country as it formulates an approach to defense and deterrence in the cyber domain. The authors’ arguments deliver a diversity of perspectives, at times overlapping in their recommendations.
In 2015 DoD published its second cyber strategy to guide the development of DoD’s cyber forces and strengthen its cyber defense and deterrence posture. The 2015 strategy outlines three cyber missions for DoD: to defend DoD’s information network, to defend the United States against nationally significant cyber attacks, and to support conventional military operations with cyber capabilities. In his article, “Reflections on the New Department of Defense Cyber Strategy: What It Says, What It Doesn’t Say,” Herbert Lin explores the fundamental tenets of DoD’s strategy. The author argues that the publication of the strategy is an important step in making this part of the public dialogue. But importantly, the author notes that the document does not address a series of critical issues, including the chain of command on the implementation of offensive cyber operations, the challenges of attribution, and the costs and benefits of using offensive cyber operations.
Robert Knake analyzes the new strategy and cautions against the assumption that DoD will be able to provide defensive support to the private sector in the United States. His article, “Respecting the Digital Rubicon: How the Department of Defense Should Defend the U.S. Homeland,” assesses how DoD should carry out its mission within U.S. territory without destroying the democratic principles the country is based on. The author argues that the United States cannot assume that DoD has any greater capabilities than the private sector in protecting their assets and therefore recommends that security capabilities be commercialized instead of relying on DoD to operate the network defenses of private companies. The author concludes that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, rather than DoD, ought to be the government entity that provides assistance to the private sector when necessary to protect its assets from cyber attacks while DoD serves in a supporting role.
Finally, in “The U.S. Department of Defense Cyber Strategy: A Call to Action for Partnership,” Michele Myauo discusses how DoD’s strategy highlights the need for a partnership between government, academia, and industry. The author argues...