The Lawfare Podcast: Kurt Sanger on Cyber Conflict and the Law

Jen Patja, Stephanie Pell, Kurt Sanger
Friday, December 2, 2022, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

U.S. Cyber Command was established on May 21, 2010, and is the second youngest unified combatant command after U.S. Space Command in the United States. As explained in the Command history, U.S. Cyber Command operates globally in real time against determined and capable adversaries. Lawyers who work in the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate at Cyber Command provide legal advice on a range of issues, including the legality of offensive cyber operations.

Lawfare senior editor Stephanie Pell sat down with Kurt Sanger, a recently retired Cyber Command lawyer, to discuss the kind of work he did and issues he addressed at U.S. Cyber Command. They talked about why the application of international law can be challenging in the cyber domain, some of the most vexing international legal issues with respect to offensive cyber operations, and some legal issues he is observing in the context of the current armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Stephanie Pell is a Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a Senior Editor at Lawfare. Prior to joining Brookings, she was an Associate Professor and Cyber Ethics Fellow at West Point’s Army Cyber Institute, with a joint appointment to the Department of English and Philosophy. Prior to joining West Point’s faculty, Stephanie served as a Majority Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee. She was also a federal prosecutor for over fourteen years, working as a Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, as a Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division, and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
Kurt Sanger retired from the U.S. Marine Corps on November 1, 2022, after serving over 23 years as a judge advocate. He is a 2015 graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center’s national security law program and was a cyber law instructor at the National Defense University. Kurt was an attorney with U.S. Cyber Command from 2014 to 2022.

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