Cyber War vs Cyber Realities

What Should We Believe and How Should We Respond?

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has recently release a new Cyber Strategy, which provides the rationale for the DOD’s establishment of 133 Cyber Mission Team co-ordinated by a growing Cyber Command. Experts and government officials alike regularly point to the disruptive nature of new information technology and the potential for cyber conflict to transform warfare. But what changes are happening in practice? What is the actual impact that cyber conflict will have on international relations? Is that dialogue about cyber conflict in line with the reality? And how is that dialogue itself affecting global stability?

A new book, Cyber War versus Cyber Realities: Cyber Conflict in the International System by Brandon Valeriano and Ryan Maness, takes a stand against the mainstream wisdom and argues that there is very little evidence that cyber war is, or is likely to become, a serious threat. Co-author Brandon Valeriano will join us to outline his empirically grounded research, and talk about the book’s conclusion that cyber incidents are a little-used tactic, with low-level intensity and few to no long-term effects.

Valeriano will then be joined by a panel of experts on cyber conflict to debate the future of cyber conflict; the true nature of the future threat environment and the dialogue about it; and the implications for the world’s governments, militaries and the private sector.

Follow the discussion online using #NewAmCyber and following @NewAmCyber.

Copies of the book will be available for sale at the event. 


Brandon Valeriano
Senior Lecturer, Department of Politics and Global Security, University of Glasgow
Co-author, Cyber War versus Cyber Realities: Cyber Conflict in the International System

Rob Knake
Senior Fellow, The Council on Foreign Relations
Author, Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It

Michael Sulmeyer
Director of the Cyber Security Project, The Belfer Center, Harvard University

Jen Weedon
Manager, Threat Intelligence, FireEye Inc


 Ian Wallace
Senior Fellow, International Security Program and Co-Director of the Cybersecurity Initiative, New America