Why has cybered conflict disrupted the security of the most developed nations? A foreign adversary contemplating an attack on a developed nation's heartland certainly faces multiple state-run military-grade lines of defense on land, sea and air. A foreign adversary launching a direct cyber-attack on a non-military homeland target will meet none. Armed forces do not shield a society from cyber-attacks originated by foreign adversaries, no longer provide a buffer between the enemy and homeland, nor can they identify the attacker after an attack occurred.

Adversaries succeed in waging cybered conflict against the U.S. and its allies. Having repeatedly inflicted economic and social harm while evading retaliation, adversaries become brazen. To prevail in cybered conflict, we need to return to the very foundations of our defense.

However, profound defense adaptation is especially problematic for dominant militaries. To develop my argument, I turn to analyze a Stuxnet-like scenario using the Revolution in ‎Military Affairs (RMA) concept of Security Studies and the paradigm shift concept of philosophy of science. Security Studies theory, philosophy of science and empirical evidence all suggest that profound defense adaptation demands pressure from outside the expert organization. I argue that Security Studies theory and empirical evidence, including Israel’s defense adaptation following short-range rocket threat, suggest that civilian outsiders coalescing with military partners can successfully drive defense adaptation.

To secure the Western world order, the U.S. and its allies need to rearrange their security forces, leveraging the experience accumulated through centuries.