Cybersecurity and the Changing Nature of Warfare in the 21st Century

Article

In the New World Order of the 21st century, the information age has revolutionized our lives, shrunk distances, and made societies more interdependent. Cyberspace and its underlying systems emerged as domains of profound influence on defense doctrines with the advent of communications technology, proliferation...

1. INTRODUCTION

In the New World Order of the 21st century, the information age has revolutionized our lives, shrunk distances, and made societies more interdependent. Cyberspace and its underlying systems emerged as domains of profound influence on defense doctrines with the advent of communications technology, proliferation of the Internet and networked devices so-called the “IoT“ (The Internet of Things). Virtual warfare, waged via computers and the Internet, became an essential aspect of military conflicts between adversaries, as the operation and management of warfare in the future has begun to change.1 To policymakers, possession of fastest computers is as crucial in the 21st century as possession of longest-range aircraft was in 20th century. Just as airpower had transformed battle scenes back then, the military utility of cyberspace has risen with diffusion of asymmetric warfare, which, in essence, is the goal of a war: One side will inevitably want to dominate over the other and make the balance asymmetric.2 As a form of smart power, cyberpower emboldens low profile actors, decreases threshold of turning points in crises, and multiplies kinetic power’s impact. Since the very orality of the Internet has a way of turning territorial battles into battles of ideas,3 transformation of modern battles utilizes de-territorialised cyber attacks as means of persuasion and winning hearts and minds on a mass scale.4 In the information age, what’s important is not just “whose army wins in battle, but whose story wins over people“.5

News headlines highlight incidents about private firms, government institutions, agencies, and critical infrastructure as frequent targets of increasingly sophisticated cyber weapons and techniques utilized by criminal organizations, state-sponsored terrorist, belligerent non-state actors, as well as national armed forces. Depending on an assailant’s motivation and desired impact on the target, malicious activities on cyberspace aim to subdue victims through data loss, financial gain, espionage, damage to commercial, physical assets, and disruption of supply chain, transportation, communication, and geo-location systems. Political actors are targeted during election campaigns through perceptual manipulation of public opinion over ads, spam, spoofing, and phishing attacks through cyberspace. The real power of cyber is in fact its potential cascading effects on other domains. Since it enables a strike directly and immediately aimed at the seat of the opposing will and policy, it diminishes the decisiveness of major wars.6 Missile tests, nuclear detonations, and advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms precipitate cyber responses that may spiral into a full-scale conflict in high-risk profile regions.


2. CYBERSECURITY AND HYBRID WARFARE

For 400 years, those who possessed the greatest power in the global commons, especially at sea, have been able to exert dominion over those who do not. Cyberspace, on the other hand, appears to empower challengers to resist against hegemony.7 Insurgents, armed groups, terrorists, political fractions of all sorts can exploit vulnerabilities of nations states by using “hacktivist“ techniques to further their cause and undermine the global order.8 Above all, cyberspace has the potential to promote social and political change, as seen by the transformative effect of social media on politics in the Middle East and North Africa, and furthermore to “alter the configuration of the global commons“.9 The Internet is the new battlefield, social networks are the weapons, and states, non-state actors, and citizens are its combatants.10

Cyber warfare may not resemble conventional war but damages can be as crippling. Perhaps most importantly, since cyberspace is ubiquitous, it affects all aspects of life, rendering it highly unlikely that future conflicts will unfold in exclusively one domain. Due to its low buy- in cost and as a multiplier of physical force, cyber warfare can generate “catastrophic cascading effects through asymmetric operations“.11 A cyber attack can target a nation’s “ner vous system“12 behind the protective barriers of physical battlefronts, and as such, its principal goal is to persuade and subdue the enemy through strategic communication without fighting, thus framing a conflict in an ideologically advantageous way that enables direct influence over societies.13 Iran, for instance, uses a mix of threats and forces to employ intimidation as a form of asymmetric warfare.14 A cyber espionage group linked to the Iranian government recently attacked energy, military, and aerospace targets in Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and the U.S.15 A war does not necessarily involve conflict, and, as Sun Tzu says in his famous work “The Art of War“, Iran’s aim is to win the war without fighting the war.16

It is taken from TASAM Publishing's book named “New World Architecture Of Economy and Security“
This content is protected by Copyright under the Trademark Certificate. It may be partially quoted, provided that the source is cited, its link is given and the name and title of the editor/author (if any) is mentioned exactly the same. When these conditions are fulfilled, there is no need for additional permission. However, if the content is to be used entirely, it is absolutely necessary to obtain written permission from TASAM.

Areas

Continents ( 5 Fields )
Action
 Contents ( 453 ) Actiivities ( 217 )
Areas
Africa 0 144
Asia 0 229
Europe 0 38
Latin America & Carribean 0 34
North America 0 8
Regions ( 4 Fields )
Action
 Contents ( 173 ) Actiivities ( 51 )
Areas
Balkans 0 93
Middle East 0 59
Black Sea and Caucasus 0 16
Mediterranean 0 5
Identity Fields ( 2 Fields )
Action
 Contents ( 175 ) Actiivities ( 71 )
Areas
Islamic World 0 146
Turkish World 0 29
Turkey ( 1 Fields )
Action
 Contents ( 210 ) Actiivities ( 54 )
Areas
Turkey 0 210

On the other hand, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, as an island country (known as Ceylon till 1972) in the Indian Ocean, has an acreage of 65,610 km2, population of over 22 million, GDP of 88.9 billion dolar (2018), and memberships in the international organizations such as ASEAN, CI...;

There has been a slight recovery from global environmental crisis depending on the relative decrease in industrial activities and transportation services and as a positive result of the world wide-ranging restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected the whole world since 2020.;

On the other hand, USA is a recognized power in global arena with its acreage, population of over 330 million, development in industrialization and technology, growing economy, natural resources, demographic structure,veto power in the United Nations, position in IMF and NATO. ;

Mexico with its area of near 2 million km², strategic position in Central America, population of approximately 124 million, human resources, GDP of 1,223 trillion dollars and developing economy is a prominent country. Mexico also is a notable member and observer to many international organizations ...;

Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is a country that attracts the attention of the world with its strategic location connecting Asia to Africa and Mediterranean to Indian Ocean, its leading role in the Arab and Islamic world, 34 million dynamic population, natural resources, 20% share in the proven oi...;

On the other hand, Brazil, which is the sixth country with its population of over 213 million and the fifth largest country with its surface area of over 8.5 million km², is an important political and economic power in Latin America and is one of the major players at the global level.;

The biggest problem in trade between Russia and Turkey is that; this relation has begun to shape in favor of Russia. In long term; this situation may cause political and economical problems with regards to sustainment of relations. Turkey’s growing need for energy and high energy prices are some of ...;

People's Republic of China has become the largest trade partner of Turkey, among Japan and South Korea and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. In parallel with the increase in trade volume, the relations between the two countries have gained momentum.;