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

Pakistan Demands Afghanistan Protect Its Kabul Mission, Staff

Officials in Islamabad say Afghan agents are harassing Pakistani embassy personnel, particularly those living outside of mission’s compound More

US Backs Sri Lanka Human Rights Probe

Colombo’s efforts to move away from previous government’s tilt towards China receive boost with US government’s decision to back domestic investigation into alleged war crimes More

Quality Control Improves TB Rates

Study conducted in Lacs Health District in southern part of the country 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs