Originally published: September 2, 2010
Last updated: September 2, 2010 - 1:18pm
[Commentary] With little fanfare, the Pentagon is putting the finishing touches on a new strategy that will treat cyberspace as a domain of potential warfare -- and apply instant "active defense" to counter attacks that, in theory, could shut down the nation's transportation and commerce.
Even though it deals with a distinctly 21st-century problem, the strategy has echoes of the Cold War: America's closest allies would be drawn into an early-warning network of collective cybersecurity; private industry would be mobilized in a kind of civil defense against attackers; and military commanders would be given authority to respond automatically to electronic invaders. In place of "massive retaliation" against attackers whose country of origin may be unclear, the strategy proposes an alternative concept of deterrence based on making America's infrastructure robust and redundant enough to survive any attack. The Department of Homeland Security would oversee this hardening of infrastructure, with help from the National Security Agency.
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