From ‘Armed Attack’ to ‘Cyber Attack’: The Evolution of Collective Self-Defense in NATO
Senior Research Fellow, RAND Europe
Brooke A. Smith-Windsor
In 2014, the world’s most powerful political-military alliance in history, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), decided to officially associate cyber attacks with its collective self-defense mandate. The development marked a significant milestone in the evolution of the 70 year-old defense alliance with widespread implications for its future military capabilities, doctrine, and partnerships with like-minded states. This paper explains how this landmark decision came about and considers NATO’s continued “cyber adaptation” in the perspective of the September 2018 US National Cyber Strategy.
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