Militarization of Cyberspace, Changing Aspects of War in the 21st Century: The Case of Stuxnet Against Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 Faculty of World Studies & Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tehran

2 Faculty of World Studies, University of Tehran


Militarization is perceived as the intentions of the military to intervene and overcome civilian procedures. The tendency for militarism generates from the military’s ambition to be dominant over procedures not commonly perceived as military. It is described as an effort “to make people accept and love war, and see it as ‘normal’” (Lutz, 2009a, in Bickford, 2015) and is usually associated with high military expenditures. On the other hand, the emergence of cyberspace has opened new capacities and paradigmatic frameworks for conceptualization of sociopolitical phenomena. The present article is concerned with the US use of Stuxnet against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2010. While being a cyber-tool in the US hostile foreign policy against Iran, the attack is discussed in the related literature as an act of cyber-war. This article argues that besides marking a cyber-tool in the US foreign policy against Iran, the attack was part of a long term militarization process in the US cyber strategy. Relying on dual-spacization’s assumptions of physical-virtual reality and using theory-testing process-tracing as the research method, this article concludes that the militarization process whereby Stuxnet was used as an alternative to kinetic attack on Iran, dual-spacized the nature of war.


Main Subjects

Article Title [Persian]

نظامی‎سازی فضای مجازی، تغییر جنبه‌های جنگ در قرن 21: مورد استاکس نت علیه ایران

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