1st Edition

Great Power Cyber Competition Competing and Winning in the Information Environment

Edited By David V. Gioe, Margaret W. Smith Copyright 2024
    226 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume conceptualizes the threats, challenges, opportunities, and boundaries of great power cyber competition of the 21st century.

    This book focuses on a key dimension of contemporary great power competition that is often less understood due to its intangible character: the competition taking place in the cyber domain, including information and cyber operations. Democracies across the globe find themselves in an unrelenting competition with peer and near-peer competitors, with a prevailing notion that no state is "safe" from the informational contest. Adversarial powers, particularly China and Russia, recognize that most competition is principally non-kinetic but dominates the information environment and cyberspace, and the volume articulates the Russian and Chinese strategies to elevate cyber and information competition to a central position. Western governments and, in particular, the U.S. government have long conceived of a war–peace duality, but that perspective is giving way to a more nuanced perception of competition. This volume goes beyond analyzing the problems prevalent in the information space and offers a roadmap for Western powers to compete in and protect the global information environment from malicious actors. Its genesis is rooted in the proposition that it is time for the West to push back against aggression and that it needs a relevant framework and tools to do so. The book demonstrates that Western democratic states currently lack both the strategic and intellectual acumen to compete and win in the information and cyber domains, and argues that the West needs a strategy to compete with near-peer powers in information and cyber warfare.

    This book will be of much interest to students of cyber-warfare, information warfare, defense studies, and international relations in general, as well as practitioners.


    David V. Gioe and Margaret W. Smith

    1. A Strategic Cyberspace Overview: Russia and China

    Mark Grzegorzewski and Christopher Marsh

     2. On Competition: A Continuation of Policy by Misunderstood Means

    Jayson Warren

    3. Russian New Generation Warfare in the Baltic States and Beyond

    Sandor Fabian and Janis Berzins

    4. Russian Cyberspace Operations against Ukraine in the 2022 War: How Effective Have They Been and What Lessons for NATO Can Be Drawn?

    Marina Miron and Rod Thornton

    5. Everyone a Sensor: The Implications of the Russo-Ukrainian War and the Democratization of Intelligence for Great Power Competition

    David V. Gioe and Tony Manganello

    6. In Africa, Great Power Competition Requires a Great Strategy for Information Operations

    Tara Heidger and David Higgins

    7. Competing for Influence: Authoritarian Powers in the Cyber Domain in Latin America

    Fabiana Sofia Perera

    8. The Logic of Protraction in Cyber Conflict: Peace Would Ruin Me

    Trey Herr, Emma Schroeder, and Stewart Scott

    9. Digital IEDs on the Information Highway: PSYOPS, CYBER, and the Info Fight

    Chaveso L. Cook

    10. Cybersecurity as a Public Good: Government Intervention Is Only Part of the Solution

    Margaret W. Smith and Jim Monken

    11. Unconventional Warfare in the Information Environment

    Otto C. Fiala and Jim Worrall

    12. Ubiquitous Technical Surveillance and the Challenges of Military Operations in the Era of Great Power Competition

    Christopher Cruden

    13. Toward a Whole-of-Society Framework for Countering Disinformation

    J.D. Maddox, Casi Gentzel, and Adela Levis

    14. Enduring Challenges in Cybersecurity: Responding Quickly and Credibly to Asymmetric Threats

    Michael Poznansky


    David V. Gioe is a British Academy Global professor and visiting professor of intelligence and international security in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. He is also an associate professor of history at the U.S. Military Academy and a history fellow for its Army Cyber Institute.

    Margaret W. Smith is an active-duty cyber officer in the U.S. Army, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative, and graduate faculty at the University of Maryland. She holds a PhD in Public Policy from The George Washington University.