The complexity of the twenty-first century threat landscape contrasts markedly with the bilateral nuclear bargaining context envisioned by classical deterrence theory. Nuclear and conventional arsenals continue to develop alongside anti-satellite programs, autonomous robotics or drones, cyber operations, biotechnology, and other innovations barely imagined in the early nuclear age. The concept of cross-domain deterrence (CDD) emerged near the end of the George W. Bush administration as policymakers and commanders confronted emerging threats to vital military systems in space and cyberspace. The Pentagon now recognizes five operational environments or so-called domains (land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace), and CDD poses serious problems in practice. In Cross-Domain Deterrence, Erik Gartzke and Jon R. Lindsay assess the theoretical relevance of CDD for the field of International Relations. As a general concept, CDD posits that how actors choose to deter affects the quality of the deterrence they achieve. Contributors to this volume include senior and junior scholars and national security practitioners. Their chapters probe the analytical utility of CDD by examining how differences across, and combinations of, different military and non-military instruments can affect choices and outcomes in coercive policy in historical and contemporary cases.
"This Perspective places deterrence within the broader spectrum of influence strategies available to international actors. It focuses on the domains of space and cyberspace and on two subareas of the land domain of warfare: hybrid warfare and terrorism. Potential in-domain and cross-domain strategies of deterrence by denial or by threat of punishment are suggested for each focus area. The author concludes that establishing effective deterrence against attacks in space and against the use of hybrid warfare tactics are the two most urgent priorities. Legislative action, demonstrative exercises, collective security agreements, retaliatory strikes against opponent systems, and creating a visible ability to hold adversary systems of political control at risk are recommended as remedial steps in the space domain. Enhanced abilities to interdict "troll armies," conduct information operations, identify the national origin of combatants, respond collectively, and deploy military quick reaction forces to neighboring states by prior agreement with them are suggested as remedial steps for hybrid warfare. The Perspective outlines criteria by which to prioritize between strategies of deterrence: denial over punishment, nonescalatory strategies over escalatory ones, and reversible strategies over irreversible ones. Even when limited to deterring terrorism and war with China and Russia, implementing a doctrine of cross-domain deterrence would be complex and would have significant resource implications. Political capital would need to be spent to achieve allied consensus and international political support for the strategy, and agencies stood down at the end of the Cold War might need to be reestablished."--Publisher's description.
Key Points: Many weapons systems and most military operations require access to multiple domains. These linkages create vulnerabilities that actors can exploit by launching cross-domain attacks; the United States may seek to deter such attacks by threatening cross-domain responses. However, both the U.S. Government and potential adversaries lack a shared framework for analyzing how counterspace and cyber attacks fit into an accepted escalation ladder. The real-world effects of attacks that strike targets in space and cyberspace and affect capabilities and events in other domains should be the basis for assessing their implications and determining whether responses in different domains are proportionate or escalatory. Development of a shared framework that integrates actions in the emerging strategic domains of space and cyberspace with actions in traditional domains would give decisionmakers a better sense of which actions and responses are expected and accepted in real-world scenarios and which responses would be escalatory. This would support more coherent cross-domain contingency planning within the U.S. government and deterrence threats that potential adversaries perceive as clearer and more credible.
This paper traces the evolution of Russian views on the art of coercion, and on the role of nuclear weapons in it, from the post-Cold War "regional nuclear deterrence" thinking to the current "Gerasimov Doctrine". Often labeled as "hybrid warfare", this "New Generation War" is waged across several domains (nuclear, conventional, informational, etc.) as a response to a perceived Western threat directed against Russia. Cross-domain coercion operates under the aegis of the Russian nuclear arsenal and aims to manipulate the adversary's perception, to maneuver its decision-making process, and to influence its strategic behavior while minimizing, compared to the industrial warfare era, the scale of kinetic force use. Current Russian operational art thus involves a nuclear dimension that can only be understood in the context of a holistic coercion campaign, an integrated whole in which non-nuclear, informational, and nuclear capabilities can be used in the pursuit of deterrence and compellence.
"The United States, now more than ever, is extremely reliant upon dependable delivery of electricity from the national electric grid. In order to preserve this critical national infrastructure, the U.S. needs to strengthen its cross-domain deterrence posture to protect the grid as components and control mechanisms become increasingly vulnerable and attractive for adversaries to exploit. A problem/solution framework will assess proposed measures the U.S. can implement to deter adversaries from future attacks on the U.S. electrical grid. Also addressed are the grid's background and development, vulnerabilities within the infrastructure, as well as the effectiveness of current deterrence measures. Research shows that modern physical protection measures are naively simplistic, that "cyber smart practices" for network security lack industry standardization and compliance, and that deterrence strategies for the cyber domain lack credibility and action. Recommendations to increase future U.S. deterrence posture include: physical, hardware, software and training upgrades; an international coalition construct for cyber policing, enforcement and legitimacy; and, a Decision Authority-ID-ROE matrix that provides a framework and delegated authority for cyber defenders to engage in persistent deterrence and enforcement operations."--Abstract.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is an original collaborator on the project titled "Deterring Complex Threats: The Effects of Asymmetry, Interdependence, and Multi-polarity on International Strategy," (CDD Project) led by the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at UCSD under PIs Jon Lindsay and Erik Gartzke, and funded through the DoD Minerva Research Initiative. In addition to participating in workshops and facilitating interaction among UC social scientists, LLNL is leading the computational modeling effort and assisting with empirical case studies to probe the viability of analytic, modeling and data analysis concepts. This report summarizes LLNL work on the CDD Project to date, primarily in Project Years 1-2, corresponding to Federal fiscal year 2015. LLNL brings two unique domains of expertise to bear on this Project: (1) access to scientific expertise on the technical dimensions of emerging threat technology, and (2) high performance computing (HPC) expertise, required for analyzing the complexity of bargaining interactions in the envisioned threat models. In addition, we have a small group of researchers trained as social scientists who are intimately familiar with the International Relations research. We find that pairing simulation scientists, who are typically trained in computer science, with domain experts, social scientists in this case, is the most effective route to developing powerful new simulation tools capable of representing domain concepts accurately and answering challenging questions in the field.
This open access volume surveys the state of the field to examine whether a fifth wave of deterrence theory is emerging. Bringing together insights from world-leading experts from three continents, the volume identifies the most pressing strategic challenges, frames theoretical concepts, and describes new strategies. The use and utility of deterrence in today’s strategic environment is a topic of paramount concern to scholars, strategists and policymakers. Ours is a period of considerable strategic turbulence, which in recent years has featured a renewed emphasis on nuclear weapons used in defence postures across different theatres; a dramatic growth in the scale of military cyber capabilities and the frequency with which these are used; and rapid technological progress including the proliferation of long-range strike and unmanned systems. These military-strategic developments occur in a polarized international system, where cooperation between leading powers on arms control regimes is breaking down, states widely make use of hybrid conflict strategies, and the number of internationalized intrastate proxy conflicts has quintupled over the past two decades. Contemporary conflict actors exploit a wider gamut of coercive instruments, which they apply across a wider range of domains. The prevalence of multi-domain coercion across but also beyond traditional dimensions of armed conflict raises an important question: what does effective deterrence look like in the 21st century? Answering that question requires a re-appraisal of key theoretical concepts and dominant strategies of Western and non-Western actors in order to assess how they hold up in today’s world. Air Commodore Professor Dr. Frans Osinga is the Chair of the War Studies Department of the Netherlands Defence Academy and the Special Chair in War Studies at the University Leiden. Dr. Tim Sweijs is the Director of Research at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies and a Research Fellow at the Faculty of Military Sciences of the Netherlands Defence Academy in Breda.
In November 2015, the Center for Global Security Research, NSO, and Global Security program jointly sponsored a seminar investigating questions related to cross-domain deterrence at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. At the seminar, experts were asked to moderate discussion based on the four topics below. For each of these topics, we have compiled a short list of literature that will help analysts develop a baseline understanding of the issue.
The United States’ national security depends on a secure, reliable and resilient cyberspace. The inclusion of digital systems into every aspect of US national security has been underway since World War II and has increased with the proliferation of Internet enabled devices. There is an increasing need to develop a robust deterrence framework within which the US and its allies can dissuade would be adversaries from engaging in various cyber activities. Yet despite a desire to deter adversaries, the problems associated with dissuasion remain complex, multifaceted, poorly understood and imprecisely specified. Challenges including, credibility, attribution, escalation and conflict management to name but a few remain ever present and challenge the US in its efforts to foster security in cyberspace. These challenges need to be addressed in a deliberate and multidisciplinary approach that combines political and technical realities to provide a robust set of policy options to decision makers. The Cyber Deterrence Problem brings together a multi-disciplinary team of scholars from multiple institutions with expertise in computer science, deterrence theory, cognitive psychology, intelligence studies, and conflict management to analyze and develop a robust assessment of the necessary requirements and attributes for achieving deterrence in cyberspace. Beyond simply addressing the base challenges associated with deterrence many of the chapters also propose strategies and tactics to enhance deterrence in cyberspace and emphasize conceptualizing how the US deters adversaries.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) hosted the 2nd Annual Cross-Domain Deterrence Seminar on November 17th, 2015 in Livermore, CA. The seminar was sponsored by LLNL's Center for Global Security Research (CGSR), National Security Office (NSO), and Global Security program. This summary covers the seminar's panels and subsequent discussions.