America’s economic and national security in this digital age are centered much less around our ability to deploy advanced cyber weaponry - which it does well - than on how the United States positions itself and conducts its affairs geopolitically.
Why? Read on.
We live in an increasingly dangerous world. Russia and China are moving forcefully to expand their respective spheres of influence; Iran appears close to developing its own nuclear arsenal; and extremist terrorist groups are exploding across northern Africa, the Middle East and beyond, spreading their own spheres of influence.
The U.S. Department of Defense and all major U.S. intelligence agencies have designated cyberterrorism as the number one threat to America’s economic and national security. Our power grids and financial markets are under daily attack. According to all projections, the intensity of such attacks will only continue to increase in number and severity.
All major powers have committed to the development of cyber weapons, while – not to be left behind – nearly 100 other nation-states have launched their own cyber operations armaments programs. Muslim extremists who have vowed the end of western civilization now increasingly have available the resources of cyber militias for hire, and these militias are developing the capacity to attack the United States.
Such attacks are only a matter of when, not if.
Many attacks are already here. Syria has launched numerous strikes against U.S. banking sites, as has Iran, in retaliation to American economic sanctions. It is rumored Russia may launch its own attacks on U.S. financial institutions in response to increased sanctions from the United States.
Cyberattacks, with no geographic or deployment boundaries, occur in an instant and slice through our national defenses unhindered, rendering those defenses obsolete.
And the United States’ posture in the face of this multitude of threats? Stand down.
America’s current view of its role and responsibilities in maintaining world order, given the heightened threats to our security, are outmoded.
America must project its force, not shrink from it; must proactively disrupt potential attacks, not merely respond; must stand by its word, not issue hollow threats followed by inaction.
This is the brink America faces as we stare into an abyss of untold potential economic and social chaos ahead. How we deal with these threats will largely determine the security of America and its citizens in the coming decade.
NOTE: This is an excerpt from Jim McFarlin’s upcoming cyber threats report, “AMERICA on the BRINK”. Cyberwarfare Today readers may order a complimentary pre-release copy of the report by e-mailing your request to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 30th. $35 thereafter.
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