Cyberwar Readiness Recast As Low Priority

Cyberwar Readiness Recast As Low Priority
Cyberwar Readiness Recast As Low Priority 

By J. Nicholas Hoover
October 12, 2009

The U.S. government should not make cyberwarfare a priority investment 
area, according to a report from public policy think tank RAND Corp.

The report, which was underwritten by the Air Force, recommends that the 
government focus instead on shoring up defenses of critical 
infrastructure like the nation's telecommunications networks, banking 
systems, and power grid that may be vulnerable to cyber attack.

"Operational cyber war has an important niche role, but only that," the 
report states.

At best, cyberwarfare operations "can confuse and frustrate operators of 
military systems, and then only temporarily," the report notes. "The 
salient characteristics of cyberattacks--temporary effects and the way 
attacks impel countermeasures--suggest that they be used sparingly and 
precisely. Attempting a cyberattack in the hopes that success will 
facilitate a combat operation may be prudent; betting the operation's 
success on a particular set of results may not be."


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