News / USA

Pentagon Prepares Cyber Warfare Strategy

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

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: US Army Turns Its Best Minds Toward Ebola

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey More

Dissident Venezuelan General Resurfaces in New York

Antonio Rivero has resurfaced after nearly a year in hiding, appearing at United Nations in New York 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.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid