Commentary: Lawmakers want to force Trump to develop tough cyberwar doctrine

By Derek Hawkins

The Trump administration is talking a big game about its strategy to deter cyberattacks.

Twice in the past week, top administration officials have boasted about their capacity to respond to digital threats, saying the White House stands ready to inflict an array of consequences on malicious actors in cyberspace.

But a bipartisan group of lawmakers isn’t buying it, and they want to use the massive defense authorization bill Congress will negotiate over the coming weeks to force the White House to draw up a clear cyber deterrence policy. The move highlights mounting frustration with what lawmakers see as a woefully insufficient strategy for responding to cyberattacks, and shows they’re serious about holding officials to their tough rhetoric.

“Let’s not sugarcoat it: Washington is dangerously unserious about cybersecurity,” Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said in an email. “We’re decades into the era of cyberwar and we’re still playing catch-up.”

Sasse is part of a

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