Cyber Defence Library

Sun Tzu and Cyber War

Sun Tzu and Cyber War

Cyberspace is a new warfare domain. Computers and the information they contain are prizes to be won during any military conflict. But the intangible nature of cyberspace can make victory, defeat, and battle damage difficult to calculate. Military leaders today are looking for a way to understand and manage this new threat to national security. The most influential military treatise in history is Sun Tzu‟s Art of War: its recommendations are flexible and have been adapted to new circumstances for over 2,500 years. This article examines whether Art of War is flexible enough to encompass cyber warfare. It concludes that Sun Tzu provides a useful but far from perfect framework for the management of cyber war, and urges modern military strategists to consider the distinctive aspects of the cyber battlefield.