February 21, 2013

The Obama administration is sending mixed messages about the role that Congress should play in creating policies that would prevent the possibility of a catastrophic cyber attack, according to a new issue brief released by the Cyber Statecraft Initiative of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security

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Jason Healey, director of the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, and A.J. Wilson discuss how the Obama administration seeks to limit the War Powers Resolution’s (WPR) application to certain types of conflicts. Specifically, the report includes:

  • An argument for the need for clearer definitions of key terms of the war powers resolution such as “armed forces,” “hostilities,” “territory,” and “introduction.”
  • A description of the Obama administration’s tactics for using narrow definitions of terminology to limit the scope of the WPR, specifically in the case of their actions towards Libya in the fall of 2011.
  • A rebuttal of the administration’s attitude towards the WPR, and the assertion that clearly the resolution’s key terms have equivalents in cyberspace that should be acknowledged.
  • A table that details the physical world equivalents of different types of cyber intrusions, and how the WPR would be relevant in each case. 

This issue brief was launched at an event on February 13: "The Role of Congress in Cyber Conflict."

The Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security focuses on the overlap of national security and cybersecurity to foster international cooperation and understanding of new forms of cooperation and conflict in cyberspace.

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