Pakistan's Cyber Arsenal: Acquisition Risks and Tech Transfer Reliance
Keywords:Cyber military capacity, Cyberwarfare, Transfer of technology (ToT), Cyber deterrence, Cyberdefense
As the world becomes increasingly militarized in cyberspace with the proliferation of offensive cyber capabilities, nation-states are struggling to build up their operational cyber capacity and establish a military cyber force in the form of an organized cyber command. This article discusses the challenges of balancing the imperative of cyber offense with that of cyber defense and the complexities of the cyber domain, including the difficulties of cyber deterrence, escalation, norms, and arms control. The text explicitly examines Pakistan's challenges in developing its military cyber capabilities, highlighting the potential drawbacks of acquiring or relying on technology transfer for cyber weaponry. The article argues that nations are more likely to help other nation-states develop their offensive cyber capabilities by providing them with the expertise to find exploits and develop tools as a means of innovation, training, and capacity building. However, advanced cyber powers, such as those involved in the great power competition, would only consider such technology transfer with allied countries in coalitions tightly aligned with their strategic interests.