Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Cyber-Information Operations Offset Strategy for Countering the Surge of Chinese Power

Jake Bebber,

Image from article, with caption: In 2015, China reorganized the PLA and created a new Cyber Warfare branch under its Strategic Support Force.

Today, China represents the most significant long-term threat to America ...
[I]nformation control is potentially a critical Chinese vulnerability. If the United States can target the ability of the Chinese regime to control information, it could gain an efficient means to offset Chinese power. ...
Targeting the CCP’s ability to control information can be considered a long-term IO campaign ... The goal is to ensure that PRC leaders believe that, as conflict escalates, they will increasingly lose their ability to control information within China and from outside, in part because the U.S. would be prepared to use more drastic measures to impede it.
This strategy is most efficient because it serves as an organizing concept for cyber options targeted against China that would otherwise be developed piecemeal. It could serve as a means to prioritize research and development, and better link military planning for cyberspace operations to public diplomacy, strategic communication, and economic policy initiatives. The nature of cyberspace operations makes it difficult to attribute actions back to the United States with certainty, unless we wish it to be known that the U.S. is conducting this activity. Finally, it provides an alternative array of responses that policy makers can use to offset growing Chinese power without immediate direct military confrontation. ... 

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