Ethan A. Huff
The US government sure has an interesting way of defining war these days. Just a few months after the Obama administration played word games with the public by insisting that air strikes in Libya were just “kinetic military action,” not acts of war, the Pentagon has now come on the record stating that it will treat all acts of cyber-hacking against the US as “acts of war.”
The announcement came on the heels of a supposed cyber-attack that occurred a few weeks ago against defense contractor Lockheed Martin. Officials say when hacking incidents like this occur in the future, retaliation in the form of reverse cyber-attacks, economic sanctions, and even “military strike[s]” may take place.
“A response to a cyber-incident or attack on the US would not necessarily be a cyber-response,” said Col. Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman. “All appropriate options would be on the table.” A White House statement also said the US plans to “respond to hostile acts in cyberspace as we would to any other threat to our country,” implying that computer hackers could soon face retaliatory attacks by the US military.
So when the US decides to invade foreign nations, often times without necessary congressional approval, it is just a simple act of exerting kinetic energy. But when a computer hacker correctly guesses a password and breaches the security protocols of the US government or one of its contracted companies, this is an act of war. And so it goes in the arbitrary world of the military-industrial complex, where definitions of war are applied only when it benefits the corporate oligarchy.
In truth, this latest cyber fear mongering out of the Pentagon is just another excuse for those running the US government to widen the scope of those it considers to be terrorists and enemies of the state. And now that the announcement has been made, you can expect to hear about many more “cyber-attacks” that will predicate convenient excuses to launch new kinetic military actions against nations, groups, and perhaps even fellow American citizens.
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