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

3 hours ago - Podcasts

Facebook boycott organizers share details on their Zuckerberg meeting

Facebook is in the midst of the largest ad boycott in its history, with nearly 1,000 brands having stopped paid advertising in July because they feel Facebook hasn't done enough to remove hate speech from its namesake app and Instagram.

Axios Re:Cap spoke with the boycott's four main organizers, who met on Tuesday with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other top Facebook executives, to learn why they organized the boycott, what they took from the meeting, and what comes next.

Boycott organizers slam Facebook following tense virtual meeting

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Civil rights leaders blasted Facebook's top executives shortly after speaking with them on Tuesday, saying that the tech giant's leaders "failed to meet the moment" and were "more interested in having a dialogue than producing outcomes."

Why it matters: The likely fallout from the meeting is that the growing boycott of Facebook's advertising platform, which has reached nearly 1000 companies in less than a month, will extend longer than previously anticipated, deepening Facebook's public relations nightmare.

Steve Scalise PAC invites donors to fundraiser at Disney World

Photo: Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise’s PAC is inviting lobbyists to attend a four-day “Summer Meeting” at Disney World's Polynesian Village in Florida, all but daring donors to swallow their concern about coronavirus and contribute $10,000 to his leadership PAC.

Why it matters: Scalise appears to be the first House lawmakers to host an in-person destination fundraiser since the severity of pandemic became clear. The invite for the “Summer Meeting” for the Scalise Leadership Fund, obtained by Axios, makes no mention of COVID-19.