Cyber Warfare In The Grey Zone: Wake Up, Washington

WASHINGTON: The entire US government — not just the Pentagon — needs to wake up to the intertwined threats of cyber warfare and political subversion, Army and National Security Agency officials say. It’ll take a major cultural change to get the whole of government to compete effectively in the grey zone between peace and war.

“It’s a mindset thing,” NSA operations director Jon Darby told me. “We need to culturally think that’s a legitimate space to be concerned about from the national security perspective.”

“This is the biggest strategic problem we face,” the Army’s three-star chief futurist, Lt. Gen. Eric Wesley, said at the recent AUSA Global conference. “What we’re suggesting, is going to require some cultural change.”

It’s deeply rooted in the US “Constitution, policy, law, and culture,” Wesley said, to see war and peace as either/or, with peace the norm and war as the anomaly. (After all the Constitution gives Congress the sole power to “declare War.”) But Russia, China, and other adversaries, he said, see “a continuum of conflict” in which peace is simply war by other means. “They’ve identified our Achilles’ heel,” he said, and learned how to achieve aggressive objectives without moving so blatantly that the US starts shooting. ..Read more..

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