Cyber warfare as an element of military operations in the other four spheres – land, air, sea and space, especially in the last – and in its own right. With the most advanced computer networks in the world and the most capable corps of cyber specialists in all realms, the world’s military superpower has launched the first military cyber command.
On May 21, 2010, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced the activation of the Pentagon’s first computer command. And the world’s first comprehensive, multi-service military cyber operation. CYBERCOM is based at Fort Meade, Maryland, which also is home to the National Security Agency (NSA).
Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn “called the establishment of U.S. Cyber Command at Fort Meade, Md., “a milestone in the United States being able to conduct full-spectrum operations in a new domain,” adding that the “cyber domain… is as important as the land, sea, air and space domains to the U.S. military, and protecting military networks is crucial to the Defense Department’s success on the battlefield.”
When CYBERCOM was launched, the Pentagon announced that “The U.S. Army will consolidate 21,000 soldiers in its cyber warfare units under a new unified command led by a three-star general.” Army Forces Cyber Command, ARFORCYBER, “will be fully operational by October at Fort Belvoir, Va., a sprawling base south of Washington,” and will achieve “unprecedented unity of effort and synchronization of Army forces operating within the cyber domain.” The US Air Force revealed that since last November it has transferred at least 30,000 troops from communications and electronics assignments to “the front lines of cyber warfare.”
Earlier this month Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller was cited as maintaining that “The Pentagon would consider a military response in the case of a cyber attack against the United States.”
Placing computer security, including in the civilian sector, under a military command is yet another step in the direction of militarizing the treatment of what are properly criminal or even merely proprietary and commercial matters.
From the genesis of the drive for U.S.-NATO cyber warfare operations Russia has been the clearly implied if not always openly acknowledged target. In an August 2008 column in the influential Wall Street Journal entitled “Russia’s Aggression Is a Challenge to World Order,” two leading U.S. senators, Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, called for “reinvigorating NATO as a military alliance, not just a political one.
This January U.S.-based Google accused Chinese hackers of “sophisticated cyberattacks” and since then Beijing has joined Moscow as the most frequently cited antagonist in future cyber conflict scenarios, intimately linked to comparable disputes in space over military and civilian satellites.
Arguably by their very nature, cyber security issues are among the most amorphous, nebulous and ethereal threats that can be devised (and concocted) and as such are characterized by near universal applicability and the effective impossibility of being disproven.
Title: U.S. Cyber Command: Waging War In The World’s Fifth Battlespace
Source: Global Research, May 27, 2010
Author: Rick Rozoff
Faculty evaluator: Peter Phillips, Sonoma State University