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The views and opinions expressed on this page do not reflect those of the Center for Security Studies or the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH). In addition, neither organization is responsible for the content of external links.

Contested Public Attributions of Cyber Incidents and the Role of Academia

In a recent article in Contemporary Security Policy, Florian J. Egloff reflects on the contested nature of public attributions of cyber incidents and what role academia could take up.

In the last five years, public attribution of cyber incidents has gone from an incredibly rare event to a regular occurrence. Just in October 2018, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre publicized its assessment of cyber activities conducted by the Russian military intelligence service (also known by its old acronym, the GRU). Clearly, publicizing activities that other political actors like to keep secret is a political act – but what kind of political act is it and what happens when a government publicly attributes?

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Who Gains from Trump’s Sudden Syrian Withdrawal?

Image courtesy of Kurdishstruggle/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

This article was originally published by the ASPI’s The Strategist on 16 October 2019.

President Donald Trump has upended American policy in Syria, and possibly in the entire Middle East, in one stroke. His unilateral decision to withdraw American troops from the Kurdish region of northern Syria, and thus give a green light for the Turkish invasion of the Kurdish enclave, has put all American goals in Syria in grave jeopardy. These included protecting the autonomous Kurdish enclave as a quid pro quo for the Kurdish militia’s singular military contribution in liquidating Islamic State and capturing its capital Raqqa at the cost of thousands of lives. They also included preventing the regime of Bashar al-Assad from reasserting control in northern Syria (a very important US objective in Syria was to circumscribe Russia’s and Iran’s reach and influence in the country). Finally, one of the principal aims of American policy in both Syria and Iraq has been to prevent the resurgence of the IS.

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Prior focus: CSS Graphics

National Cybersecurity Organizations, Main Bodies and Responsibilities: Netherlands

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This week’s featured graphics outline how cybersecurity responsibilities are shared among governmental organizations in the Netherlands. For more information on national cybersecurity strategies and cybersecurity challenges in Italy, as well as in Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy and Switzerland, read Marie Baezner and Sean Cordey’s CSS cyber defense report here.

Impact of the US-Iran Confrontation on Central Asia

This article was originally published by the Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst on 3 October 2019.

Increasing political and economic pressure on Iran, exacerbated by the renewed economic sanctions resulting from the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has led Tehran to seek support from the two major Eurasian political and economic powers Russia and China. Iran has also increasingly turned its attention toward its neighbors in Central Asia, which remain closely integrated into the political, economic and military projects of Moscow and Beijing. Central Asian leaders are well aware that a possible armed conflict between the U.S. and Iran would adversely affect Eurasian security.

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Russia Facing Europe: A Provisional Road Map

Image courtesy of Kremlin.ru. (CC BY 4.0)

This article was originally published by the Carnegie Moscow Center on 9 October 2019.

Russia need not concern itself about a new security architecture in Europe: eventually, one will grow out of its ongoing confrontation with the United States, together with the combined impact of Moscow’s rapprochement with Beijing and the evolving rivalry between the United States and China.
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