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Clausewitz and the Utility of Cyberattacks in War

Jeppe Teglskov Jacobsen
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Jeppe Teglskov Jacobsen: Danish Institute for International Studies, Copenhagen, Denmark

International Journal of Cyber Warfare and Terrorism (IJCWT), 2014, vol. 4, issue 4, 1-16

Abstract: There is no cyberwar. This observation, however, does not render cyberattacks unimportant. This article returns to Clausewitz's On War (1832) and examines the utility of cyberattacks in future wars. In doing so, the article not only targets the misunderstandings and exaggerations prevalent in the literature, but also demonstrates that On War, albeit two centuries old, is a key work in understanding the relationship between cyberattacks and war. Drawing on Clausewitz, the article finds that cyberattacks can be useful tools particularly in the initial phase of war. However cyberattacks remain inferior to conventional military weaponry, ultimately rendering cyberwar unlikely.

Date: 2014
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