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Mershon Center Speaker Series
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Michael Fischerkeller
Deterrence is Not a Credible Strategy for Cyberspace
Wednesday, October 18, 2017, 03:30pm - 05:00pm
Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Avenue, Room 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201

Michael Fischerkeller

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Michael P. Fischerkeller is a research staff member in the Information, Technology and Systems Division at the Institute for Defense Analyses, where he has spent nearly 20 years supporting the secretary of defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and combatant and multinational force commanders.

After earning a B.S. w/honors in international relations and Middle East politics from University of Pittsburgh, Fischerkeller earned a Ph.D. in international relations and research methods from The Ohio State University. After graduation, he was awarded a National Science Foundation fellowship followed by a post-doctoral fellowship from the Mershon Center for International Security Studies.

In 1998, he began working as a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA). In this capacity he has supported U.S. regional and functional and multinational force commanders, including deployments to U.S. Pacific Command, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Fischerkeller has contributed to scholarship in the fields of national strategy, regional strategy, asymmetric warfare, force transformation, deterrence, the balance of skill, technology, and operational concept, and the planning, programming, budgeting, and execution system process.

His published articles appear in Survival, Orbis, Joint Forces Quarterly, Security Studies, International Organization, Prism, and Military Operations Research Society (MORS) Journal. Most recently, Fischerkeller directed his focus on the cyberspace warfighting domain and has published two articles this year on offensive cyber operations and cyberspace strategy.

Abstract

Much of U.S. defense policy over the past 70 years has been grounded in a deterrence framework. When the cyberspace operational domain emerged, it was promptly and similarly considered a domain of restraint and reaction, with insufficient attention paid to its unique characteristics and whether or not that consideration was strategically appropriate. It was not. This presentation will offer the bases of an argument that, within cyberspace, the protection or advancement of national interests cannot rest on deterrence as the central strategy but can be realized through a strategy that captures and takes advantage of unique characteristics of the domain – a strategy of persistence. In addition, the presentation will highlight several issues identified in the course of developing this argument that are impeding policymakers’ abilities to recognize the need for an alternative strategic approach.

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