Obama, Pentagon won’t rule out military force against cyberattacks

“The Pentagon is formulating a new strategy on how to respond to cyberattacks that would include using military force, a spokesman confirmed late Tuesday,” Larry Shaughnessy reports for CNN.

“Col. David Lapan said if the attack is serious enough, ‘a response to a cyberincident or attack on the U.S. would not necessarily be a cyber response, so as I said all appropriate options would be on the table,'” Shaughnessy reports. “In May, the White House released the International Strategy for Cyberspace. It said in part, ‘We reserve the right to use all necessary means — diplomatic, informational, military, and economic — as appropriate and consistent with applicable international law, in order to defend our Nation, our allies, our partners, and our interests.'”

Shaughnessy reports, “The Pentagon policy is part of the larger White House plan, but it will not include specifics as to what responses might be triggered by certain levels of cyberattacks. ‘We’re not going to necessarily lay out if this happens we will do this, because again the point is, if we are attacked we reserve the right to do any number of things in response just like we do now with kinetic attack,’ Lapan said. ‘So it makes the idea that attacks in cyber would be viewed in a way that attacks in a kinetic form are now, the military option is always a resort.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “s” for the heads up.]


    1. Actually a buzz-phrase that started showing up in the early part of the last decade.

      Basically a new phrase for wars fought with traditional military force as opposed to cyber-warfare, psychological warfare, chemicals, germs, economic means, etc.

      1. If the military used the buzz-phrase first then great. I think that is this groups way of saying if we think we are under attach and something is moving, we are going to kill it and hoping no one understands what you are saying.

        I miss “stop or I will shoot” and “victory at any cost”. You knew where they stand and you know what is going to happen. This group, not so much. The only real thing that is kinetic is the instructions, policies and goals.

    2. Could the foreign policy confusion be coming from trying to apply the equation of PV=nRT used when calculating the pressure, volume and temperature of the kinetic properties of gases and now trying to apply it to military conflicts. These government leaders need help.

      1. It’s not.
        Go back to when they first used it.
        It’s so they don’t have to say the word war.
        Same as terrorist attack, they substitute with man made disaster. They are being way too politicly correct.

  1. The bleeding hearts will cry “disproportionate use of force” like they always do, but if these rogue nations want to hack us, really…. one giant bomb to send them back to the stone age should give us a few thousand years of not worrying about their technical prowess.

    1. You forgot the second part of that – and the most important part – go in and pave the whole thing over and turn it into another Las Vegas. The true sign of Capitalist superiority.

    2. No people just disapprove of your mouth breathing “bomb the entire area regardless of who it kills” mentality.

      World War 2 is over. We live in a new world that requires intelligence gathering, pinpoint strikes and selective targeting. Not conventional carpet bombing and invading nations…

      …pretty much the entire opposite of what you wrote in your 3rd grade-level mentality post.

  2. As an Obama critic myself… I should point out that the article may be a little misleading.

    I doubt the idea is to send in the marines to california and invade some hacker’s house..
    I’m not going to bash Obama/pentagon over this, I can only assume there is more to the story.

    1. This is the reason that both the Bush 43 and the Obama admins wanted a “kill” switch to quarantine the national cyber infrastructure from external attack.

      But the wackadoodles with the tinfoil hats who like to see dark forces (evil as opposed to melanin, although who knows) in everything want to believe that there’s a hidden socialist plot to suppress their rights to free speech.

      Sadly, these are the same wackadoodles that will bitch and moan if that infrastructure is attacked and complain that the government should have been prepared.

      1. >wanted a “kill” switch to quarantine the national cyber infrastructure from external attack<

        That sounds like the sort of "solution" the clown-haired boss in Dilbert would use—running through the office shouting to everyone to shut down their computers.

  3. it would be interesting if they define cyber-attacks as a weapon of mass destruction. our national policy has always been to use an equivalent response.

  4. This is a warning to China, where a great percentage of cyber attacks originate. In addition, China has recently acknowledged the existence of The Blue Army, an elite cyber warfare unit. In reality, China, Russia and others really aren’t friends to the United States.

    1. In reality you’re wrong. China is for more capitalist and far less communist than you think. Besides they pretty much already own the US. Unlikely they are going to want to destroy a country that owes them trillions of dollars. Russia just carries over their old cold war paranoia. They aren’t much of a threat to the US. Not conventionally anyway.

      The biggest threat the US faces is the continuous irresponsible fiscal polices of both parties of Congress. When the dollar collapses and the US is bankrupt, it will be hard to keep up the out of control military spending that people have agreed to at the hands of the fear mongers. At that point we will be fighting each other for survival, not foreign nations.

      1. “At that point we will be fighting each other for survival, not foreign nations.”
        If that is to be what happens, I hereby claim all pizza shops as mine!

  5. Sounds like a cave man type thing to me;
    some one does something smart to shut you down with a computer, you go over and start smashing stuff
    looks great!

  6. So if you live next door to a hacker living in his mom’s basement and one day you hear the faint sound of something that sounds like an airplane but seems too small and then the house next door disappears in sudden blazing inferno–you know what this policy means.

  7. Ugh!

    Here we go again. Let’s go attack a COUNTRY that had nothing to to with the cyberattack!! Don’t people realize… aren’t people smart enough that most terror isn’t state sponsored, and fighting countries is just a waste of resources?

    While I agree everything should be done to retaliate against a cyber attack, launching jets, bombs, and marines isn’t the answer.

    1. Nobody is going anywhere.
      It is a warning to hackers from outside the US, that all options are on the table. This changes the paradigm from, it’s a white collar crime, to an act of war. It should make other countries and hackers a little worried about hacking the US government, agencies or the military etc.
      The takeout would be a targeted strike or strikes or a Seal team 6 type operation.
      Hackers from within the US would be dealt with by Federal, State and local authorities.

      1. @ Applesmack:

        Problem with you way of thinking is that almost EVERYTHING that causes economic damage can be construed as an act of war. A crime is a crime no matter what color the collar, but the USA only has legitimate authority to enforce its own laws. That’s why the UN was set up — to allow a legal framework for multinational cooperation. Multinational organizations of hackers (or bombers or pipeline attackers or munitions traffickers, etc) should be apprehended by Interpol or by UN force when necessary — not by any one nation’s military. It is neither logical nor cost effective to do the “go it alone” approach, as the last decade(s) has proven.

  8. It’s always useful to stand in your enemies’ shoes and adopt a “what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander” perspective. So, if the Iranians could demonstrate that the Stuxnet attack on its nuclear facilitities originated back in the US, then, under this doctrine, they would be entitled to launch a military attack against the US.

  9. When has the Pentagon ever ruled out military force? Small-minded carpenters think everything is a nail.

    I for one am getting a bit tired of the price of their platinum-gilded hammers. If anything happens outside of US borders, then any expeditionary military exercise should be operated and funded only in conjunction with the United Nations. The USA can no longer afford to be the world’s one policeman.

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