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The last two presidents have been resistant to formalizing a cybersecurity strategy. The new Cybersecurity Solarium Commission hopes that by replicating the process President Eisenhower used to form a nuclear strategy in the 1950s, they can develop one that will last.

The big picture: Presidents Obama and now Trump have argued that formalizing how the U.S. will combat cyberattacks reduces the executive branch's agility. Lawmakers, including co-chair Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who co-chairs the Solarium group, have argued that as long as the U.S. has no doctrine, countries like Russia and China will see no consequence to an attack.

  • "Right now, we're a cheap date," King told Axios.

Details: The commission, which formally launched last week, is a 14-member task force composed of 4 current lawmakers; directors or deputy directors of National Intelligence, Defense, the FBI and Homeland Security; and representatives from academia and industry.

  • The group takes its form and name from the Solarium Commission Eisenhower used to develop a nuclear strategy in 1953.
  • Like the original Solarium, the cybersecurity version will split into working groups, competitively arguing for different strategies. Those strategies will include persistent engagement, deterrence (which will include increasing resiliency), and the development of diplomatic norms — global rules of the road for cyber operations.

Co-chair Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) did much of his PhD thesis on the original Solarium.

  • He acknowledged to Axios there will a difference between the old and the new commissions. Eisenhower's had a pure competition between mutually exclusive approaches; it's likely that Gallagher's and King's will end up with a recommendation combining elements of their three contenders.
  • But Gallagher believes that the competitive approach will be a surefire way to find areas where two strategies might be in conflict and iron out the differences, and find problems that exist in all three.
  • "A problem for all three approaches is the question of attribution," he said. "We know who launched a missile, but it's harder to tell who set off a cyberattack."

Go deeper

House votes to ban imports from Xinjiang over forced labor concerns

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The House voted 428-1 on Wednesday to pass a bill that would ban all imports from the Chinese region of Xinjiang unless the U.S. government determines that the products were not made with forced labor.

Why it matters: Both the Trump and Biden administrations, as well as several foreign parliaments, have recognized China's repression of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang as genocide.

Mark Meadows sues Pelosi, Jan. 6 committee

Then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters after a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Nov. 18, 2020. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows sued House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and all nine members of the Jan. 6 select committee on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The move comes less than a day after the committee moved to hold Meadows in contempt for refusing to cooperate with its investigation of the Capitol riots.

2 hours ago - Technology

The four key moments from Instagram's Hill hearing

Adam Mosseri. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Instagram head Adam Mosseri testified before Senate lawmakers Wednesday and was pressed on the app's impacts on young children and teens.

Why it matters: Legislation to protect kids online is one area Congress has shown it's willing to regulate, as Axios previously reported. Wednesday's back-and-forth gave momentum to lawmakers eager to make more rules for social media platforms and how children and teens can use them.