Cyberwar: Calling out China
State-sponsored Chinese hackers increasingly aim to hijack control of critical U.S. infrastructure. A new private-sector report blames China's military for most such cyberattacks — tantamount to acts of war. The ever-deferential Obama administration's response? A weak new strategy for diplomatic and law-enforcement protection of trade secrets and intellectual property.
U.S. computer security firm Mandiant's report follows the digital trails left by China's most sophisticated hacker group “to the doorstep of” the People's Liberation Army Unit 61398 headquarters in Shanghai. The New York Times also reports that a classified U.S. National Intelligence Estimate “makes a strong case” that PLA officers or contractors run that hacker group and others.
The harsh light cast on China by the Mandiant report makes the shortcomings of that new White House strategy all the more glaring.
It doesn't focus exclusively on cyberattacks. Or mention U.S. cyberoffensive capabilities. Or single out China as America's primary online adversary — “to avoid upsetting relations with Beijing,” The Washington Free Beacon reports.
Foreign policy in Mr. Obama's second term is parroting the first and continues to be defined by reckless deferentialism.
The Obama administration shouldn't be playing catch-up with — or playing coy about — China's cyberwarfare. Instead, this White House must treat China as the enemy it undoubtedly is, by calling out the PLA for its cyberattacks and leading an all-out response that puts America's capabilities in cyberspace — public, private, defensive and offensive — on no less than a war footing.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- For U.S. Senate, W.Va.: Elect Shelley Moore Capito
- Monsour’s legacy: A bitter pill
- U.N. Watch: Gun-grabbers unite!
- Sunday pops
- For the Pennsylvania House: Ortitay, Krieger and Logan
- The Fast & Furious scandal: Sunshine ahead?
- The Box
- Mass shootings: Cooked numbers
- Philly’s schools: The real injustice
- For U.S. House in Ohio & West Virginia: Bill Johnson and David McKinley
- McCaffery’s suspension: Castille’s concurrence