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.
- Judge jails Kentucky clerk for refusing marriage licenses
- 1 Marine killed, 9 hurt in helicopter hard landing
- VA enrollment data labeled unreliable
- 34th senator signs on to Iran nuclear deal, crumbling GOP’s hopes to override veto
- Obama: Alaska proof of climate change dangers
- Leads sparse in hunt for Illinois officer’s killers
- Judge clears way for revival of NSA wiretap suit
- Senate Dems get 34th vote to hand Obama victory on Iran deal
- Clerk aims to block Ky. governor’s order
- Army fully opens Ranger School to female soldiers
- Baltimore officers on track for trial