Cyber Operations and Nuclear Weapons
In this essay, Jon Lindsay argues that: “As NC3 increasingly uses digital technologies to enhance efficiency and reliability, the cybersecurity of NC3 becomes a pressing concern. Adversaries have incentives to penetrate NC3 for intelligence in peacetime and for counterforce in wartime. Given the broad diffusion of cyber capabilities, furthermore, most nuclear-weapon states also have some ability to do so, although the operational difficulties of gaining remote access to and covert control over NC3 cannot be overstated. Offensive cyber operations targeting NC3 introduce a number of under-appreciated risks of organizational breakdown, decision making confusion, and rational miscalculation in a nuclear crisis.”
This paper is accompanied by a Fourth Leg podcast: Is The Enemy In The System?