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[ISN] 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
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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