On April 23, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced the new “cyberspace operations strategy” of the Defense Department, which was an upgraded version of the first edition published in July 2011. Shortly thereafter, China’s PLA Daily published a commentary authored by Lv Jinghua, a scholar at the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences. The commentary stated that the document was intended to designate the next five-year target for U.S. military strategy in cyberspace. The strategy pointed out the most noteworthy three keywords – deterrence, attack, alliance, which represent the direction of the U.S. military developments in cyber power.
The PLA article questioned the document, “To achieve a deterrent effect, there should be a clear target. Is the United States’ ability to trace the origin really strong enough to distinguish who is the threat maker? Cyberspace is easy to attack and hard to defend, how can one build the perfect defense that the enemy has no way to attack? If the defense were to fail, then when should one launch retaliatory action? The international community has, so far, not reached a consensus on a code of conduct for cyber warfare, so what is the legal basis for the U.S. cyber troops to take action? Snowden’s disclosure has severely damaged trust in the United States for France, Germany, and its other traditional allies. To establish a network alliance requires sharing extremely sensitive information, such as cyberattack capabilities and plans. Will the mutual trust between the allies and the United States return to such a level?”
The article concluded, “Cyberspace is a new area shared globally. Maintaining network security needs all parties to work together. If the United States only intends to achieve ‘absolute security’ and irresponsibly develops its cyber military force, the result can only be counterproductive, resulting in the proliferation of cyberspace malware, an intensification of the arms race, and a frequent occurrence of crises. What it brings instead is ‘an absolute unsafe’ condition. Such an outcome will be a serious violation of all people’s common will for the ‘peaceful use of cyberspace.’ It will not only harm people; it will not even be self-serving.”
Source: PLA Daily, May 3, 2015