China ups the ante on cyber warfare

The creation of the U.S. Cyber Command three years ago likely compelled China and others to accelerate their military and intelligence efforts in the cyber domain.

This June will mark the third anniversary of then Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ authorizing the creation of a new military command that would develop offensive cyber capabilities and defend command and control networks against computer attacks. Many believe his action became the catalyst behind was has been referred to as a revolution in military operations. In fact, some believe these actions might have caused multiple nation states, including China, to accelerate their military and intelligence efforts in the cyber domain.

China’s military modernization efforts are known to militaries and intelligence organizations worldwide. Especially concerning is its emerging asymmetric capabilities in cyber warfare and anti-satellite warfare. Intelligence about China’s cyber military has begun to circulate in the public domain. This has many examining the well conceived doctrine on information operations and cyber war the People’s Liberation Army has drafted. Part of the master plan is said to include raising a private cyber army who will wage clandestine cyberattacks against the state's enemies from home computers. According to a Congressional Research Service report titled Cyber Warfare, China is developing a strategic information warfare unit called “Net Force” to counter the military capabilities of superior adversaries. These actions, as well as China’s significant research and development efforts that are needed to accomplish their goals, have nations looking at counter cyber weaponry, strategies and tactics.

China’s actions as well as the cyberattacks that have been linked to them have nations looking at counter cyber weaponry. There are those that believe we are in a new arms race – a cyber arms race and compare it to the old Cold War type environment.

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