News / USA

Pentagon Prepares Cyber Warfare Strategy

TEXT SIZE - +
Al Pessin

The Pentagon is expected to issue its cyber warfare strategy in the next few weeks, providing more detail about possible U.S. responses to attacks on key computer systems.  

Two weeks ago, the White House released its International Strategy for Cyberspace, which, among other things, declares that the United States will use “all necessary means” to defend its vital cyber assets. The strategy says the United States “will respond to hostile acts in cyberspace as [it] would to any other threat,” including specifically reserving the right to respond with military action.

Pentagon Spokesman Colonel David Lapan repeated that view on Tuesday. “A response to a cyber incident or attack on the U.S. would not necessarily be a cyber response.  So, all appropriate options would be on the table if we were attacked via cyber," he said.

The White House strategy was not a surprise, culminating a long effort to officially identify computer networks as a vital national interest, which, if attacked electronically, could result in a retaliatory strike.

Now the Pentagon is working on a follow-up document to lay out its role in implementing the White House strategy.  Colonel Lapan declined to provide details Tuesday, but said the document will likely not provide specific consequences for specific types of attacks. “If we are attacked, we reserve the right to do any number of things in response, just like we do now with kinetic attacks.  Military option is always a resort.  There are other things we could do," he said. "But it won’t necessarily lay out, ‘if this happens, then this will happen.' ”

Lapan says a more general statement asserting the right to retaliate by a variety of means is likely a better deterrent to any potential attackers.

Former senior U.S. defense official Daniel Gallington, now at the Potomac Institute, says Pentagon strategy documents are usually more about capabilities than specific actions. “The Pentagon doesn’t decide when we go to war.  And the Pentagon doesn’t decide these policy questions.  The Pentagon is the doer.  They are the ones who take action when they are directed by competent political authority and the command structure.  The Pentagon is in the training and equipping business.  And what they do is, they have to anticipate the kind of capabilities that they’re going to need to have in the future for future conflicts," he said.

Documents like the Pentagon cyber strategy serve to provide direction to the military services, combat commands and defense agencies so they can develop specific plans, and seek the funding and authorization to develop specific capabilities.

Gallington says he hopes the document includes a variety of capabilities designed to prepare the U.S. military to respond to serious and minor cyber attacks, and everything in-between, using both military and electronic means.  That would provide a full range of options for a president faced with a decision about how to respond to a cyber attack.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid