A great Stuxnet point from Lee Smith:
The atomic age isn’t exactly over, but it seems we may have entered a new phase of it. In the age of cyberwarfare, what does it mean to have a nuclear weapon if someone else may own your command and control systems – and you may not even know that they do? If the Iranians do manage to build a bomb, can they now risk embarrassment, not to say a nuclear catastrophe, by testing it? And even if they test it successfully, what’s its strategic worth if they don’t know whether or not they can actually use it? Even concepts like nuclear deterrence will have to be reviewed. The relative stability of the Cold War was a function of clarity: Deterrence is a strategy premised on clear red-lines, warnings and threats. Cyberwarfare is precisely the opposite, where no one has to own anything and there is little, if any, accountability.
Of course, there were Cold War debates about how stable the Soviets’ command-and-control systems actually were, so this isn’t exactly a new problem for deterrence theory. But it still highlights the unpredictability that (possible/hypothetical/real) cyberwar means for nuclear powers, especially as we consider that the cyber-efforts of various actors that they may consider short of war could still have the most profound implications for control of the world’s deadliest weapons.