Asymmetric Dialogue

Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare: Assessing U.S. Strategy



Without a concerted effort, the United States economy will become increasingly vulnerable to hostile adversaries seeking to undermine our military and political strength. While analogies to the dawn of the nuclear age can be overdrawn, we can learn a lot from the rigorous thought that went into assessing the types of intelligence collection platforms, targeting processes, and analytic methods created to deal with that challenge. In this new threat environment, we have much work to do. We must have sustained attention within the U.S. intelligence community to understand the capabilities and intentions of our adversaries. We need greater government investment in the types of R&D that the private sector is not likely to advance. We need a whole of government “observe, orient, decide, and act” loop so that we can properly assess the enemy's escalatory ladder. And we must work closely with our allies to safeguard the networks and systems upon which our economy depends. Researchers like me await the release of the U.S. administration's cyber strategy to help set the country on the path through this dangerous future.