Theories of cyber deterrence are developing rapidly. However, the literature is missing an important ingredient—warfighting for deterrence. This controversial idea, most commonly associated with nuclear strategy during the later stages of the Cold War, affords a number of advantages. It provides enhanced credibility for deterrence, offers means to deal with deterrence failure (including intrawar deterrence and damage limitation), improves compliance with the requirements of just war and ultimately ensures that strategy continues to function in the post-deterrence environment. This paper assesses whether a warfighting for deterrence approach is suitable for the cyber domain. In doing so, it challenges the notion that warfighting concepts are unsuitable for operations in cyberspace. To do this, the work constructs a conceptual framework that is then applied to cyber deterrence. It is found that all of the advantages of taking a warfighting stance apply to cyber operations. The paper concludes by constructing a warfighting model for cyber deterrence. This model includes passive and active defences and cross-domain offensive capabilities. The central message of the paper is that a theory of victory (strategy) must guide the development of cyber deterrence.
Lonsdale, D. J. (2018). Warfighting for cyber deterrence: a strategic and moral imperative. Philosophy && Technology, 31(3), 409-429. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13347-017-0252-8