Cyberwar and B.H. Liddell Hart's Indirect Approach   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the thesis abstract: "This study attempts to illuminate cyberwarfare's efficacy as an indirect approach using B.H Liddell Hart's principles of the indirect approach as described in his book, Strategy. His principles are applied to two well-documented cyber attacks. The first is Stuxnet, which refers to the 2010 U.S.-Israeli cyber operation targeting Iran's nuclear program. The second deals with advanced persistent threats stemming from Chinese cyber espionage. Each attack profile, while sharing a common maneuver domain (cyber), employs distinctive methods in pursuit of different objectives. Stuxnet was purpose built to infiltrate and destroy specific nuclear centrifuges within Iran. Conversely, Chinese cyber espionage is designed to extract massive amounts of data over a period of months and years. This dichotomy provides sufficient breadth in the application of Liddell Hart's principles. The purpose is to evaluate the efficacy of B.H Liddell Hart's principles to cyberwar and gain a deeper understanding of how conflict in cyberspace translates to other domains and across the levels of war. Additionally, the studyseeks to answer the following questions. Is cyberwarfare an indirect approach by its very nature? What does an indirect cyber approach look like? Can cyberwarfare achieve decisive results when used as an 'indirect approach?'"

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