FIRST PRIZE: The Theory, Pursuit, and Practice of Cyber power in Israel
In a new domain, it is perhaps only natural that strategic concepts from established domains are borrowed. This article examines the case of Israel and its pursuit of cyber power under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli cyber-strategy adopted in 2011, aimed at securing a place as a top-five global cyber power, was readily justified by preexisting defence policies and doctrines. Advanced technologies have long aided Israel in the regional balance of power, and key strategists recognized that cyber attack was an indispensable tool in line with the policy of active defence going back to Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Moreover, cyber warfare is especially well-suited to the IDF’s notion of the campaign between wars by which they weaken enemies short of provoking conventional war. As the Israeli government continues to develop the so-called Cyber Iron Dome, we are reminded that the theorization of cyber warfare is subject to idiosyncrasies in national experience and strategic thought.