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Cover of Superstorm Sandy: Implications for Designing a Post-Cyber Attack Power Restoration System

Perspective: Superstorm Sandy: Implications for Designing a Post-Cyber Attack Power Restoration System

Paul Stockton

This Perspective summarizes electric grid restoration challenges posed by Superstorm Sandy and contrasts them with those that would be produced by a cyber attack on the grid. It examines the implications of these disparate challenges for the electricity industry’s mutual assistance system and proposes potential steps to build an “all-hazards” system that can account for the unique problems that cyber attacks will create. The study also analyzes support missions that state and federal agencies might perform in response to requests for assistance from utilities and analyzes how to build a cyber response framework that can coordinate such requests. 

   
Cover of Little Green Men: A Primer on Modern Russian Unconventional Warfare, Ukraine 2013–2014

“Little Green Men”: A Primer on Modern Russian Unconventional Warfare, Ukraine 2013–2014

Robert R. Leonhard, Stephen P. Phillips, and the Assessing Revolutionary and Insurgent Strategies (ARIS) Team

This document is intended as a primer—a brief, informative treatment—concerning the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. It is an unclassified expansion of an earlier classified version that drew from numerous classified and unclassified sources, including key US Department of State diplomatic cables. For this version, the authors drew from open source articles, journals, and books. Because the primer examines a very recent conflict, it does not reflect a comprehensive historiography, nor does it achieve in-depth analysis. Instead, it is intended to acquaint the reader with the essential background to and course of the Russian intervention in Ukraine from the onset of the crisis in late 2013 through the end of 2014.

   
Cover of The Uncertain Consequences of Nuclear Weapons Use

Report: The Uncertain Consequences of Nuclear Weapons Use

Michael Frankel, James Scouras, George Ullrich

The considerable body of knowledge on the consequences of nuclear weapons use underlies all operational and policy decisions related to US nuclear planning—but very large uncertainties still remain. As a result, the physical consequences of a nuclear conflict tend to have been underestimated, and a full-spectrum all-effects assessment is not within anyone’s grasp now or in the foreseeable future. This work outlines the current state of our knowledge base and presents recommendations for strengthening it.

   
Cover of The Cyber Dimensions of the Syrian Civil War

Perspective: The Cyber Dimensions of the Syrian Civil War

Edwin Grohe

This Perspective describes cyber operations known to have been used during the Syrian civil war from January 2011 until December 2013. The cyber operations of pro-regime forces, anti-regime forces, and nations providing support, as well as US involvement and its effects on these cyber operations, are discussed as a basis for drawing observations and implications for future conflicts.

   
Cover of Assessing the Risk of Catastrophic Cyber Attack

Analysis Note: Assessing the Risk of Catastrophic Cyber Attack

Michael Frankel, James Scouras, Antonio De Simone

Reflecting on the similarities between cyber and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks, the authors of this Research Note explain how the approach used by the EMP Commission to assess the likelihood and consequences of EMP attacks could provide useful lessons for analysts grappling with the analogous assessment of cyber attacks.

   
Cover of A Conventional Flexible Response Strategy for the Western Pacific

Perspective: A Conventional Flexible Response Strategy for the Western Pacific

Brendan Cooley and James Scouras

Uncertainties about China’s rise and the nature of its future relationship with the United States create the need for a grand strategy that simultaneously hedges against alternative futures while making more worrisome futures less probable. A conventional flexible response strategy could provide adequate deterrent capability at the high end of the spectrum of conflict and be better able to manage confrontations at the low end, while nudging China toward integration into the current global order.

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