by Rick Rozoff
28 May 2010
Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist
work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago,
Is the manager of Stop NATO
In its landmark September 2000 document
"Rebuilding America's Defenses",
Project for a New American Century
made the following recommendations:
- developing sophisticated new
technologies to "control the global commons of cyberspace" by
closely monitoring communications and transactions on the
- pursuing the development of "new
methods of attack... in space, cyberspace and perhaps the world
What the Neo-conservatives did not
George W. Bush’s Administration is
currently being achieved under
General Keith B.
Commander, United States
On May 21 U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert
Gates announced the activation of the Pentagon’s first computer command.
And the world’s first comprehensive, multi-service military cyber operation.
U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM),
initially approved on June 23, 2009, attained the status of what the
Pentagon calls initial operations capability eleven months afterward. It is
to be fully operational later this year.
CYBERCOM is based at Fort Meade, Maryland, which also is home to the
National Security Agency (NSA).
The head of the NSA and the related Central
Security Service is Keith Alexander, U.S. Army lieutenant general on
the morning of May 21 but promoted to four-star general before the formal
launching of Cyber Command later in the day so as to become its commander.
The U.S. Senate confirmed Alexander for his new position on May 7.
In written testimony presented to Congress
earlier, he stated that in addition to the defense of computer systems and
“the cyber command would be prepared to wage
offensive operations as well…” 
Two days before his confirmation the
Associated Press reported that Alexander,
“said the U.S. is determined to lead the
global effort to use computer technology to deter or defeat enemies.”
The conjunction “and” would serve the purpose
better than “or.”
The day Alexander assumed his new command, Deputy Defense Secretary
“called the establishment of U.S. Cyber
Command at Fort Meade, Md., today a milestone in the United States being
able to conduct full-spectrum operations in a new domain,” adding that
the “cyber domain… is as important as the land, sea, air and space
domains to the U.S. military, and protecting military networks is
crucial to the Defense Department’s success on the battlefield.”
The Pentagon’s second-in-charge is not the only
person to refer to cyber warfare as the world’s fifth battleground
after those of land, sea, air and space, nor to link the first with the
Indeed, the Defense Department’s Quadrennial Defense Review released
earlier this year focuses on “a broader range of military responsibilities,
including defending space and cyberspace,”  and the Pentagon’s
space operations are now grouped with cyber warfare as the new Cyber Command
is subsumed under U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM),
which is in charge of the militarization of space as well as the global
interceptor missile project, information warfare and related missions.
In its own words,
“USSTRATCOM combines the synergy of the U.S.
legacy nuclear command and control mission with responsibility for space
operations; global strike; Defense Department information operations;
global missile defense; and global command, control, communications,
computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR), and
combating weapons of mass destruction.” 
“U.S. CYBERCOM is a sub-unified command under U.S. Strategic Command, of
Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. But it will be run out of the
super-secretive communications-gathering National Security Agency in
Fort Meade, Md.” 
Three months ago U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff
General Norton Schwartz addressed a conference of the Air Force
Association, but he,
“did not mention fighters, special
operations or mobility,” instead concentrating on space and cyberspace.
“We have an enduring need for robust space and cyberspace capabilities,”
he told the audience.
The Air Force Times provided background
information regarding Schwartz’s comments and connected the role of space
and cyber warfare:
“Space and cyberspace missions were brought
together last year, when the service moved many of its communications
and computer missions into Space Command and created the 24th
Air Force to be the service’s in-house ‘cyber command.’
“At the same time, Space Command’s nuclear missile role was transferred
to the new Global Strike Command.” 
The 24th Air Force will be joined by
the Army Forces Cyber Command and the 10th Fleet and Marine
Forces Cyber Command (representing the four main branches of the U.S. armed
forces) in providing the first 1,000 personnel for the new multi-service
The day that CYBERCOM was launched, the Pentagon announced that,
“The U.S. Army will consolidate 21,000
soldiers in its cyber warfare units under a new unified command led by a
Army Forces Cyber Command,
“will be fully operational by October at
Fort Belvoir, Va., a sprawling base south of Washington,” and will
achieve “unprecedented unity of effort and synchronization of Army
forces operating within the cyber domain.”
In the words of the Army’s chief cyber
commander, Major General Steven Smith, his service is,
“trying to understand what a cyber warrior
should be, and how they should be trained.” 
A few days before the Air Force revealed that
since last November it has transferred at least 30,000 troops from
communications and electronics assignments to “the front lines of cyber
Earlier this month Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James
Miller was cited as maintaining that,
“The Pentagon would consider a military
response in the case of a cyber attack against the United States.”
He was quoted as proposing a direct military
reaction to computer attacks, stating,
“we need to think about the potential for
responses that are not limited to the cyber domain.” 
Placing computer security, including in the
civilian sector, under a military command is yet another step in the
direction of militarizing the treatment of what are properly criminal or
even merely proprietary and commercial matters. And preparing responses of a
decidedly non-virtual nature in return.
The Pentagon and the National Security Agency will not be alone in
the endeavor to establish and operate the world’s first national cyber
As usual, Washington is receiving unconditional
support from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the military bloc it
initiated in 1949 and has extended throughout Europe and, operationally,
into Asia, Africa and the Middle East over the last eleven years.
NATO not only provides the U.S. with 27
additional voices and votes in the United Nations and as many countries
through which to transit and in which to base troops and military equipment,
it also - through its Article 5 mutual military assistance provision -
allows for American military deployments and creates the pretext for armed
confrontation in alleged defense of other member states.
Troops from all 28 NATO members and over 20
partner states are embroiled in the nearly nine-year war in Afghanistan
Article 5 was first invoked in September of 2001.
“The Parties agree that an armed attack
against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be
considered an attack against them all,” Article 5 is in large part the
foundation of and the impetus for the Pentagon’s Cyber Command.
The clamor for a cyber warfare capacity began
among leading American and NATO officials during and immediately after
attacks on computer systems in Estonia in late April and early May of 2007.
The small country, a neighbor of Russia which
had been inducted into NATO three years earlier, accused Russian hackers of
the attacks on both government and private networks, and the charge was
echoed in the West with the additional insinuation that the government of
then Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind the campaign.
Three years later the accusations have not been substantiated, but they have
served their purpose nonetheless:
NATO dispatched cyber warfare experts to
Estonia shortly after the events of 2007 and on May 14, 2008 the
military bloc established what it calls the Cooperative Cyber Defense
Centre of Excellence (CCD COE) in the nation’s capital of Tallin.
The bloc’s Article 5 has been repeatedly - and
given its nature ominously - evoked in reference to alleged cyber crimes and
attacks, and Estonia has been portrayed as both the model victim of such
assaults and the rallying point for a global cyber warfare response to them.
From the genesis of the drive for U.S.-NATO cyber warfare operations Russia
has been the clearly implied if not always openly acknowledged target.
In an August 2008 column in the influential Wall Street Journal entitled
“Russia’s Aggression Is a Challenge to World Order,” two leading U.S.
senators, Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, called for,
“reinvigorating NATO as a military alliance,
not just a political one. Contingency planning for the defense of all
member states against conventional and unconventional attack, including
cyber warfare, needs to be revived. The credibility of Article Five of
the NATO Charter - that an attack against one really can and will be
treated as an attack against all - needs to be bolstered.” 
This January U.S.-based Google accused Chinese
hackers of “sophisticated cyberattacks” and since then Beijing has joined
Moscow as the most frequently cited antagonist in future cyber conflict
scenarios, intimately linked to comparable disputes in space over military
and civilian satellites.
The British House of Lords issued a report in mid-March of this year
that explicitly asserted,
“Britain needs to work more closely with
NATO to fend off ‘cyber warfare’ on critical national infrastructure
from former cold war enemies such as Russia and China,” and which
“highlight[ed] the dangers of attacks on the internet, banking and
mobile phone networks by the Russians in Estonia three years ago.”
A few days before NATO Secretary General
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, while promoting the military bloc’s new Strategic
Concept in nominally non-aligned Finland, reiterated that although Article 5
military defense of the Alliance’s 28 members’ territory remains NATO’s
chief function, it isn’t sufficient to,
“line up soldiers and tanks and military
equipment along the borders,” as the bloc needs “to address the threat
at its roots, and it might be in cyber space,” adding that an “enemy
might appear everywhere in cyberspace.” 
A year earlier Rasmussen’s predecessor as head
of the Western military alliance, the Netherlands’ Jaap de Hoop Scheffer,
foreshadowed NATO’s preparations for its 21st century Strategic Concept,
unveiled by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and her
self-styled Group of Experts at NATO headquarters this May 17, in stating,
“we need to take a broader approach and
gradually consider the notion of collective security, rather than
strictly collective defense.” 
To expand the North Atlantic bloc’s missions
internationally, the distinction between military threats and a multitude of
self-identified security concerns needs to be blurred.
The litany of non-military excuses for NATO interventions throughout the
world includes frequently intangible, unverifiable and highly subjective
factors like perceived missile threats, climate change, demographic shifts
and dislocations, and “storms and floodings” amid “a myriad of determined
and deadly threats” as Lord Peter Levene, chairman of Lloyd’s of
London, characterized NATO’s current challenges at a conference his firm
co-organized with the military bloc last October 1. 
Arguably by their very nature, cyber security issues are among the most
amorphous, nebulous and ethereal threats that can be devised (and concocted)
and as such are characterized by near universal applicability and the
effective impossibility of being disproven.
An indispensable arrow in the Pentagon’s and
NATO’s collective quiver, then.
In the speech cited above, former NATO chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
specifically addressed the matter of cyber security, demanding that NATO,
“should consider drawing on the unique
capabilities that already exist in our military and look to build on
them. They could, for example, form a rapid response service to support
Allies and perhaps even partners in the event of an attack. And given
the vital role that space and satellites now play within our cyber
networks, should we not also start to follow activities in space more
closely and consider the implications for our security?” 
In June of last year U.S. ambassador to NATO
Ivo Daalder, former National Security Council staffer currently on loan
from the Brookings Institution, also tested the waters on whether the
Alliance’s Article 5 war clause should be activated in response to “energy
strangulation” or “a cyber or bio attack of unknown origin.” 
“Energy strangulation” - that is, the accusation of energy cutoffs to Europe
- is inevitably coupled with charges of cyber attacks in Europe and both are
in exclusive reference to Russia.
For example, in Scheffer’s recommendation of
last year on the application of NATO’s Article 5 for cyber and space use he
“The disruption of a country’s energy supply
can destroy the economic and social fabric of a country in a way that
resembles a war - yet without a single shot being fired. It is therefore
vital that NATO defines what added value it can bring, for example in
terms of protecting critical infrastructure or securing chokepoints
through which supply lines run.” 
In her May 17 remarks to NATO’s North Atlantic
Council on the new Strategic Concept, Madeleine Albright stated that,
“NATO must maintain a flexible mix of
military capabilities, including conventional, nuclear, and missile
defense” and laid stress on “the primacy of Article 5,” which stipulates
that “the Alliance must continue to treat collective defense as its core
Among threats justifying the activation of
Article 5 are,
“cyber assaults and attacks on energy
infrastructure and supply lines.” 
Her group’s report demands that NATO,
“accelerate efforts to respond to the danger
of cyber-attacks by protecting its own communications and command
systems, helping allies to improve their ability to prevent and recover
from attacks, and developing an array of cyber-defense capabilities
aimed at effective detection and deterrence.” 
Anticipating the Pentagon’s William Lynn by two
months, NATO’s Director of Policy Planning Jamie Shea said that,
“120 countries currently have or are
developing offensive cyber attack capabilities, which is now viewed as
the fifth dimension of warfare after space, sea, land and air…”
On March 22,
“Shea said there are people in the strategic
community who say cyber attacks now will serve the same role in
initiating hostilities as air campaigns played in the 20th century.”
Shortly after this year’s presidential election
in Ukraine, the country became the first non-NATO member to be recruited for
cyber defense cooperation with the North Atlantic military bloc.
“On 11-12 February 2010, cyber defense
experts from Ukraine, NATO and Allied countries participated in the
first NATO-Ukraine Expert Staff Talks on Cyber Defense in Kyiv.”
NATO’s pioneer project in this area, though,
remains its cyber warfare center in Estonia.
The operation’s experts,
“second-guess potential adversaries, gazing
into what they dub the ‘fifth battlespace’, after land, sea, air and
Colonel Ilmar Tamm, the top Estonian
military official at the site, was quoted late last month claiming,
“Definitely from the cyber-space
perspective, I think we’ve gone further than we imagined in science
Estonian Defence Minister Jaak Aaviksoo
spoke with Agence France-Presse about events in 2007 and the present,
“It clearly heralded the beginning of a new
era… It had all the characteristics of cyber-crime growing into a
national security threat. It was a qualitative change, and that clicked
in very many heads. Cyber-security, cyber-defense and cyber-offence are
here to stay. This is a fact of life.” 
On April 23, the second day of a NATO foreign
ministers meeting in the Estonian capital, a memorandum of understanding was
signed which “creates a legal framework" for cyber defense cooperation
between NATO and Estonia.
It will facilitate the exchange of information
and provide means for create a mechanism for assistance in case of cyber
“The agreement was signed on behalf of NATO
by Amb. Claudio Bisogniero, Deputy Secretary General….” 
The individual who personifies the organic and
inextricable connection between the Pentagon and NATO is the one who
simultaneously heads up U.S. European Command and is NATO’s Supreme Allied
Commander Europe, from General Dwight Eisenhower in 1951 to Admiral
James Stavridis currently.
On February 2 of this year Stavridis said that because of,
“attacks on computer networks in Estonia,
Georgia, Latvia and Lithuania in the past several years,” although he
didn’t offer either specifics on or substantiation for the claim, “the
definition of protections for NATO members should be expanded.”
The four countries identified as victims leave
no doubt as to who Stavridis views as the perpetrator.
Addressing an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association
conference and speaking of NATO’s Article 5, he said that the,
“likelihood that the next conflict will
start with a cyber attack rather than a physical attack highlights the
importance of changing the treaty’s definitions.” 
Employing a line of reasoning that he has
repeated in the interim, he said:
“In NATO we need to talk about what defines
an attack. In a country like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, all NATO
members, what defines an attack? I believe it is more likely that an
attack will come not off a bomb rack on an aircraft, but as electrons
moving down a fiber optic cable. So this is a very real and germane part
of this challenge that we face in the cyber war.”
NATO’s top military commander was also
paraphrased as saying that,
“NATO has taken the first step toward making
cyber warfare combat an international effort by standing up the
Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in 2008 in Estonia, but
facing cyber threats will require cooperation among U.S. government
agencies, and between governments and industry as well.” 
In early May Stavridis delivered a speech in
Paris in which he again highlighted,
“new threats facing NATO from cyber space”
in relation to “NATO’s role in combating these threats, in particular
Article 5 operations and collective defense.” 
On May 19 he appeared as the guest of honor at a
special Commanders Series event at the Atlantic Council  in
Washington, D.C., where he was introduced by Madeleine Albright two days
after she had presented her Group of Experts report on NATO’s 21st
century global Strategic Concept in Brussels.
Stavridis boasted that NATO nations have a combined gross domestic product
of $31 trillion, have over two million men and women under arms, and,
“130,000 soldiers and sailors and airmen and
Marines on missions on three different continents.”
The above despite the fact that,
“No nation has ever attacked a NATO nation.”
His presentation was accompanied by slides and
his comments included:
“I think that Secretary Albright’s paper
hits this exactly right. We must, as an alliance, begin to think
coherently about cyber.
We find here the flags of four states that
have been involved in cyber intrusions. [Presumably the four former
Soviet states he identified in February.] I think it’s important that as
an alliance, we begin to come to grips with what is a cyber attack.
“We need centers that can focus on it; we need procedures to provide
defensive means in this world of cyber.” 
Cyber defense and its inevitable correlate,
cyber warfare, are integral components of Pentagon and NATO war-fighting
doctrine, embodied as such in the U.S.’s new Quadrennial Defense Review and
in NATO’s latest Strategic Concept to be formally adopted at the
bloc’s summit in Lisbon, Portugal this November.
Cyber warfare as an element of military operations in the other four spheres
- land, air, sea and space, especially in the last - and in its own right.
With the most advanced computer networks in the
world and the most capable corps of cyber specialists in all realms, the
world’s military superpower has launched the first military cyber command.
 Agence France-Presse, May 12, 2010.
 Associated Press, May 5, 2009.
 U.S. Department of Defense, May 21, 2010.
 Financial Times, January 31, 2010.
 U.S. Strategic Command
 Stars and Stripes, May 22, 2010.
 Air Force Times, February 19, 2010.
 Stars and Stripes, May 22, 2010.
 Air Force Times, May 19, 2010.
 Agence France-Presse, May 12, 2010.
 Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2008.
 The Telegraph, March 18, 2010.
 Agence France-Presse, March 4, 2010.
 North Atlantic Treaty Organization, March 11, 2009.
Thousand Deadly Threats: Third Millennium NATO,
Western Businesses Collude on New Global Doctrine, Stop NATO,
October 2, 2009.
 North Atlantic Treaty Organization, March 11, 2009.
 Defense News, June 8, 2009.
 North Atlantic Treaty Organization, March 11, 2009.
 North Atlantic Treaty Organization, May 17, 2010.
 Aviation Week, May 18, 2010.
 Defense News, March 23, 2010.
 North Atlantic Treaty Organization, February 22, 2010.
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Powers Europe, May 7, 2010.
Atlantic Council: Securing The 21st Century For
NATO, Stop NATO, April 30, 2010.
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