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Impact of Mongolia’s Choices in International Politics on Cybersecurity

Mongolia is a very special nation in at least two respects: its geographical position, sandwiched between two giants on the international scene and in cyberspace – i.e. Russia and China, its two bordering states; the political choices made by the authorities, which have committed Mongolia to a process of coming closer to the Western world, in order to attempt to find a third channel, complementary to its dependence on Russia and China. In this context, faced with two major powers which have a far greater mastery of cyberspace – if only because of the existing networking infrastructures, the number of connections, number of Internet users, national industries – what possible pretentions could a modest-sized state have in that same cyberspace? Is it not totally subjugated to the pressure from its neighbors? Is it possible for it to develop independently, freely, and enforce its own sovereignty? Is that sovereignty not threatened by the cyber-operations likely to be carried out against it by the major powers? Is cyberspace really that space of emancipation, with a level playing field, which would enable actors with modest capacities to assert their own ambitions? Indeed, what weight could a modest-sized cyberspace hold in the evolution of a state’s society, its economy, its international relations and its security and defense policies? What role can a state with only a modest cyberspace hope to play in the global ...

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