David Ronfeldt is on a roll here:
Tim Stevens and I have pointed out the problem with the "cyber-Monroe" frame: the analogy doesn't fit. You can't control the Internet in the same way that you can dominate the air and the sea. It's much too fluid, dispersed (not to mention non-corporeal) to work that way. There's no digital equivalent of an aircraft carrier. Selil has always considered cyberwar to be a form of low-intensity conflict, and I think this is fundamentally correct. Tim explains why:
"Meanwhile, a curious new trend in strategic thinking is growing, parallel to these developments: a claim that cyberspace is as much a part of the global commons as air, sea, and outer space. This means that cyberspace is a kind of collective good, even a global public good. It also means that access to, if not command of, this new commons is essential for America’s power in the world, and that cyberspace must be defended against state and nonstate threateners. According to its early proponents, Michèle Flournoy and Shawn Brimley (2008, p. 136), “America must take a leadership role to ensure that access to the global commons remains a public good.” They have recently expanded on this theme as Pentagon officials.
Declaring a domain to be strategic commons eases the way for asserting public over private interests. And that may have all sorts of implications. It might help with efforts to foster a “multi-partner world,” as Secretary Clinton urges. But it might also lead to a “cyber Monroe doctrine” or help justify unleashing an “af.mil botnet” (insensibly?) under other circumstances. Whatever the circumstances abroad, declaring cyberspace a strategic commons would surely bolster the organizational clout of cybersecurity officials within the U.S. government and over the private sector."
"I have argued consistently that cyberspace is not a purely technological construct. It is as much made of people and politics as it is of hardware and software. No technology is in and of itself a material entity, as all technologies require human interaction – they are socially constructed in both their use and abuse."
And as Ronfeldt points out, "a social movement is taking shape that views the information commons as a new realm for peer-to-peer social development; and it is sure to raise objections to a strategic military concept of this commons." Any strategy for the information commons is going to be based as much on as strategic communications as purely kinetic paradigms.