How do you fight a hacker’s war of terrorism

How would you fix Sony?

2001 might well be a watershed in the history of war.  I think this year will be seen as a very important year and pivotal in war and foreign policy for many reasons.  The most obvious of course is currently being called the “Arab Spring.”  However, I am not so certain as we approach the half point in the year, that the Arab Spring will survive in our memories quite the way we thought it would in March. Mubarak may be gone, but virginity checks and heavy handed army “investigators are not gone – in fact looking at the region from today’s vantage point, only Tunisia seems to be under the spell of reform – the rest of the region is showing more tribalism, religious factionalism and civil war than innocent calls for social change.

The Arab Spring is making some permanent changes in western policy; one at a time all of the major European countries are being forced, along with the United States, to rethink a long standing policy.  Previously, all of the major powers could  agree to fight against the evil empire.  They could all agree to fight against evil leaders, ala Saddam Hussein, anywhere they existed; and all the forces of democracy and western capitalism could  agree to fight against the forces of evil – the terrorists – with total commitment and much military power.  But that is when evil was coming at us one evil doer at a time – these days the threats, the evil doers are out in bunches – they are still out in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran – and now added to those, there is evil in Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Jordon, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt and Libya – everywhere in the region more and more evil is being unleashed.

Worse now it is not even simple to determine who is evil and who is not; which side is a threat to democracy and which side is defending a free economy?   It is clear at the end of May 2011, that the United States cannot be the determining factor in every one of those countries, neither can France, England or Germany. So how to choose, what to do and where?  We are going to have to rethink it all; and if we wanted advice, the Chinese are offering it – in the form of an editorial in the Chinese People’s Daily – don’t interfer, offer support, trade, technical assistance, but don’t interfere.  Trust that people are capable of making thier own decisions and determining the course of their own lives. They may need some of your help, some of your money, but not your bombs or soldiers. That is not an exact quote, but it is close; the article actually says that the Chinese policy is consistent over the last 50 years. It listed the recent trips of diplomats to Africa and the Middle East (termed West Asia) in response to recent events.  It emphasized the welcome they receive and the gratitude everyone felt to China for its non-inference and constant support; it also pointed out that China immediately recognized the new governments in Egypt and Tunisia.

That is the first challenge, what to do with mulitple crises playing themselves out at the same; we cannot afford to go into every country with a military force nor can we afford to bomb in every country – we don’t even have the capabilities to chase terrorists inside of every country.  But that may not turn out to be the biggest challenge we are going to face – political/military hacking maybe the biggest challenge.  Wikileaks represents one kind of “hacking’ – that is getting inside of your system and using your system and your data against you.  Next came the hacking of Sony with its billion dollar price tag, but then came the latest and potentially most serious, the hacking of Lockheed Martin; or if you prefer the hacking of Iran’s nuclear power system. Could it not have been our power grid, rail system or air-controllers?

Some of those are semi-miltary actions and most beleivers think they are sponsored, if not actually carried out, by a “government or nation.”  Today, I read where a leader, but I did not pay attention to the name or title, said hacking should be considered as an act of war.   Well, goody, that is just what the world needs a new way to make war.  I can almost buy-in to the concept, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out how you know who did it – and if you get the answer to that one, what do you do?  I mean suppose we uncover reasonable evidence that China has been sponsoring attacks on our military computers, our power grids or just disrupting Sony’s business plan so a Chinese company can launch its on game platform – what should we do……. bomb China?


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