Cyberwar moves up on Pentagon's priority list
WASHINGTON — The military is increasing its budget for cyber-warfare and expanding its offensive capabilities, including the ability to blind an enemy's radar or shut down its command systems in the event of war, according to two Defense officials.
In the 2014 Defense budget released last week, the money allocated for cyber-operations rose to $4.7 billion, up from $3.9 billion. Much of that money is going into the development of offensive capabilities, usually referred to as computer network attacks, according to budget documents.
Officials say these are capabilities — including targeting military computer networks — that a commander might need in a conflict and would be used only in accordance with the law of armed conflict.
The expansion is a recognition that cyber-war probably will be at least part of any conflict. In recent years, the Pentagon has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on building cyber-capabilities, an effort that has gained urgency as China, Russia, North Korea and other nations have been using cyberspace to attack adversaries or steal secrets.
“When you look at the strategic landscape from our perspective, it's getting worse,” Army Gen. Keith Alexander, the head of Cyber Command, testified recently to Congress.
U.S. officials say they have a range of sophisticated cyber-attack capabilities should they be needed by commanders in a conflict. The skills are perishable and require constant honing, the Defense officials said.
“From everything I'm told, we're as good as anybody and probably better,” said Martin Libicki, a cyber-warfare analyst at Rand.
The Air Force, for example, has been developing systems designed for the “exfiltration of information while operating within adversary information systems,” according to budget documents. The Air Force declined to release details on the program, saying it was classified.
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.
- Supreme Court will hear challenge to EPA’s power-plant rules
- Brown family blasts prosecutor; Wilson speaks
- Protest in Cleveland over 12-year-old’s shooting death chokes off traffic
- Final Benghazi report touted as ‘definitive’
- Premiums to rise for Obamacare’s most popular plans
- Oregon recounts votes on measure to label GMO foods
- Mo. governor adds guardsmen as protests continue
- United Mine Workers responds to strike complaint
- In IRS ‘rife with scandal,’ staff to receive bonuses
- Candidate for Defense chief changes her mind
- Alcohol’s role in collegiate assaults cited at University of Virginia board’s meeting