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In a world in which the importance of digital connectivity on the battlefield and beyond will only grow, America’s pre-war efforts to provide cybersecurity assistance to Ukraine present important lessons. They offer a template, albeit an imperfect one, for how America thinks about its national interests and its capabilities. And they provide both a warning and an opportunity, at a moment Beijing is making its own evaluation: examining Taiwan’s digital defenses as well as America’s ability to come to the support of a country under threat half a world away.

What follows is a two-part examination of the lessons that America should draw from the experience of helping Ukraine’s cyber defenders prepare for war. The first is an overview of what American cybersecurity assistance to Ukraine looked like between 2012 and the outbreak of war in 2022. The second part analyzes these efforts in the context of the war and offers some high-level conclusions to drive the present and future of American cybersecurity aid.

About the Author

Mary Brooks

Mary Brooks

Former Public Policy Fellow
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Science and Technology Innovation Program

The Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP) serves as the bridge between technologists, policymakers, industry, and global stakeholders.  Read more