[ISN] Should the U.S. continue to plan enemy attacks via cyberspace?

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Thu Jan 07 1999 - 14:48:20 PST

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    Forwarded From: Jukka E Isosaari <jeiat_private>
    Should the U.S. continue to plan enemy attacks via cyberspace? 
    January 6, 1999
    by Daniel Verton 
    (IDG) -- A debate is brewing in the Defense Department about whether the
    United States should continue to pursue offensive strategies to attack
    enemies via cyberspace, thereby opening the door to future coordinated and
    sophisticated attacks by other countries, according to an author of a
    recently released study. 
    "There are some in the Pentagon and elsewhere who believe that it will not
    be to the net advantage of the U.S. to see [the use of strategic
    information warfare] become widespread," said Roger C.  Molander, a senior
    research analyst with Rand Corp. and one of the authors of "Strategic
    Information Warfare Rising," a study commissioned by DOD to develop a
    strategy and policy framework for dealing with strategic information
    warfare issues. In fact, Molander added, there are many in DOD who "eschew
    attacking infrastructures through cyberspace as a new principle of
    The report, which has been circulating within DOD for at least six months,
    recently was used by DOD to formulate a response to a recent Russian
    proposal before the United Nations General Assembly that called for the
    U.N. to study the global security threat posed by the development of
    offensive strategic information warfare (IW)  capabilities. The U.N. is
    scheduled to debate the issue in the fall.
    According to the Rand report, there are four "plausible and potentially
    desirable" scenarios facing the United States and the world when it comes
    to strategic information warfare:
    * U.S. supremacy in offense and defensive strategic IW. 
    * A club of strategic IW elites, whereby a policy of no
      first use of strategic IW capabilities could be established.
    * Global "defensive dominance" in strategic IW,
      whereby a regime would be established to control
      the spread of strategic IW similar to biological and
      chemical weapons. 
    * Market-based diversity, whereby the damage or
      disruption achievable through a strategic IW attack
      is modest and recovery is fast. 
    According to Molander, the report successfully outlined the parameters to
    help guide senior DOD policy-makers through the decision-making process
    when it comes to strategic IW. This study is about "the idea that you can
    shape the future," Molander said.
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