Before “deliberately ambiguous” inspires guffaws about the bumbling nature of government, folks would do well to remember that ambiguity arises in the most seemingly unambiguous contexts. Previous posts on this blog have mentioned that companies often struggle to answer straightforward questions such as “how many customers do we have?” For example, see here.
Also worth noting that a little deliberate ambiguity might be exactly what’s called for in this case, to provide a little wiggle room for those responding to future cyber-attacks.
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon, trying to create a formal strategy to deter cyberattacks on the United States, plans to issue a new strategy soon declaring that a computer attack from a foreign nation can be considered an act of war that may result in a military response.
…administration and military officials acknowledged that the new strategy was so deliberately ambiguous (emphasis mine) that it was not clear how much deterrent effect it might have.