Magazine article Security Management

Internet Leverages the Battlefield

Magazine article Security Management

Internet Leverages the Battlefield

Article excerpt

Citing anecdotal evidence of shifts in military strategy, witnesses before a recent Joint Economic Committee hearing said the United States faces a real threat from state and nonstate actors who could leverage the Internet to prevail in future conflicts.

John Serbian, Jr., a CIA information operations issue manager, told Congress that the agency is "detecting, with increasing frequency, the appearance of doctrine and dedicated offensive cyber warfare programs in other countries," most notably China and Russia.

Serbian says these and other countries, which would not ordinarily succeed against the United States in a military operation on the physical battlefield, are pursuing plans for government-sponsored cyber offensives and building information warfare into their military doctrine and war college curricula. The strategy, he said, represents a kind of "asymmetric option" for those countries that would need to level the playing field during an armed crisis with the United States. For example, by knocking out command centers or altering data, those attackers would make it more difficult for U.S. defense forces to make important tactical decisions.

Daniel Kuehl, of the School of Information Warfare and Strategy division of the National Defense University, said that a growing body of open source literature defines Chinese military thinking. It shows that the military "considers computer network attack[s]...as an important means to enable the inferior to defeat the superior' and eliminate the enemy country s war-making material base. …

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