Key Points

To be successful, maximum pressure 2.0 should include diplomatic, military, cyber, economic and financial sanctions, and information and influence activities. There will undoubtedly be challenges associated with implementation. And no plan fully survives contact with the adversary. But this campaign offers the best hope of securing American, South Korean, and international interests on the Korean Peninsula without war.

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While data integrity and supply-chain security may not sound as tantalizing as building the algorithm that develops biotronic robots, it may be even more important. If we don’t secure the data we use to propel our AI revolution, we are building an AI capacity for the adversary.

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Treasury also should sanction the financiers of cyber operations, as sanctioning only the hackers themselves has been insufficient to deter their misbehavior. Reports indicate, for example, that another sanctioned Iranian cyber threat group, known as Cobalt Dickens, continues to operate unimpeded. Treasury’s existing anti-terrorism and non-proliferation sanctions are potent because they target not only the aggressors but also their financial networks. For U.S. sanctions to be an effective tool to combat and thwart cyber operations, this expansiveness must be replicated in the cyber realm.

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Closer to our own time, Napoleon made wide use of economic aggression in hopes of shaping the battlefield to his advantage. In 1806, in an attempt to weaken England’s fighting forces by ruining the economy that undergirded its power, he issued the Berlin Decree declaring the British Isles to be in a state of blockade. While not as successful in that case—in fact, some scholars blame it for the ultimate ruin of France—the military strategy of using economic means to cripple the adversary has never fallen out of favor.2

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North Korea has invested heavily in cyber operations as a means of achieving national security objectives, such as evading sanctions and learning how to undermine its adversaries through reconnaissance. It is imperative that the U.S. and all U.N. member states build on the momentum generated by the Panel’s findings. Although Pyongyang’s cyber capabilities are still cannot pose a formidable threat to the financial infrastructure of the U.S. and its allies, Washington and the international community must act before the danger grows far worse.

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Events

EVENT: The Battlefield of Today and Tomorrow: Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare

November 13, 2018 | 10:00

Projects