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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. I think all hype aside that our government is telling other nations:
    If you cannot control or handle this- we will.
    If you do this- we will be sending you a gift you might not like.

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