Cyber War versus Cyber Realities coverIt is great pleasure to write an introduction to this roundtable on Cyber War Versus Cyber Realities by Brando Valeriano and Ryan Maness. This is an important book, one of the very few that addresses the new cyber age from a theoretical as well as an empirical perspective. The reviews are written by notable scholars who are well versed on relevant substance, theory, and methods.  Each brings an important perspective to bear on the challenges at hand.  And each provides important critiques in highly constructive terms.  This book is also somewhat controversial in its purpose as well as its theoretical views, analysis, and execution.

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Let it be stated at the outset: the virtual weapon has not fundamentally changed the nature of war. Further, insofar as the consequences of its use do not rise to the level of traditional interstate violence, there will be no such thing as cyber ‘war.’ In these respects, those who claim that the contemporary cyber peril is overblown are correct. Yet the Clausewitzian philosophical framework—a cherished device of the cyber skeptics[2]—misses the essence of the cyber revolution: the new capability is expanding the range of possible harm and outcomes between the concepts of war and peace, with important implications for national and international security. The disanalogy of war conveys only what the cyber issue is not; it does not reveal the true significance of the danger, and may even conceal it.

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