Tuesday, 4 June 2013

China hacking vs. Pentagon whacking: An arms race in cyber-space?

Fresh allegations of hacking and cyber-theft between China and the United States as well as resources channeled into cyber-warfare and digital troops by both superpowers show uncertain diplomatic terrain ahead. As the Obama administration imposes gouging cuts on fundamental social spending, the White House is allocating $13 billion for the US Cyber Command, tasked with waging ‘offensive cyber strikes’ to defend the homeland. In 'Pentagonese' that translates to building malicious computer viruses designed to subvert disable, and destroy targets and their computer-controlled infrastructure. Gen. Keith Alexander, who leads both the Cyber Command and the NSA, even claimed that 13 of the 40 existing cyber battalions are tasked specifically with waging pre-emptive attacks against other countries.

In keeping with the logic of American exceptionalism, which supposes that the US maintain unrivalled supremacy in every tactical or military field, the Pentagon is now working in earnest to extend its dominance to cyberspace. It’s no secret that China has made the modernization of its armed forces a top priority. As Beijing develops new types of hardware, including aircraft carriers, strategic missile submarines and advanced aircraft, white papers issued by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) highlight the desire to digitalize the nation’s military by utilizing modern information technology. Washington is no stranger to scare tactics, and as establishment figures routinely warn of America’s power grids and financial systems being overtaken by e-terrorists, the US is positioning itself to enact that same scenario onto others under the guise of national defense.

Read the full story on RT.com

Nile Bowie is a Malaysia-based political analyst and a columnist with Russia Today. He also contributes to PressTV, Global Research, and CounterPunch. He can be reached at nilebowie@gmail.com.