A New Kind of Warfare in Libya or Just More Disinformation

Posted on April 2, 2011


Yet another journalist heard from who is “telling it as it is” and revealing the “truth” about  the war in Libya.  In today’s Telegraph, Con Coughlin puts forth the case for our now turning to warfare that utilizes brain over brawn.

But the main focus of the coalition effort is increasingly focused on intelligence and cyber operations. While Western intelligence agencies concentrate their energies on mounting an effective propaganda campaign to persuade key figures to defect, the Armed Forces are making use of their newly acquired cyber skills to increase the Gaddafi clan’s sense of disorientation.“The great advantage of waging cyber wars is that the enemy has no idea what is going on,” says a senior coalition officer. “You won’t see it, you won’t hear it. It just keeps you guessing the whole time, and makes you question everything that’s going on around you.”

They will be targeting computers and mobile phones, which are all susceptible to cyber attacks. At their most sophisticated they can be used to shut down power stations and water supplies, thereby crippling a nation’s entire infrastructure.

Somehow, a lot of what is being said here smacks of assembling some facts after the event  to make it look as if we had planned the outcome all along.  The major part of it, however, is chilling for what may befall us for having used it and made public our affiliation with it:  A cyber warfare capability that can shut down the utilities and other infrastructure of an entire nation.  It is like unleashing the atom bomb on the world.  Now it is cyber in nature.  And it cannot be contained.

In the article it is made clear that the US and Israel created the Stuxnet worm that shut down Iran’s nuclear program for years.  Crowing about anything negative in the Middle East involving the joint forces of the US and Israel is tantamount to calling in a hit.  If true then count on the opposition taking the game to the next level.

We had better be very certain that we have the world’s greatest cyber forces before we publicize it’s capabilities.  It has been widely publicized that China is spending billions developing a cyber warfare capability.  Is there money enough and trained personnel enough  in Europe and America to carry off  successful warfare against these kinds of forces?

And then there are the capable Russians who have been hacking our systems for longer than any other nation.  And these two powers are behind much of what we fight in the Middle East.

Yes, we are less willing to commit sizable forces ground or otherwise to these Middle East wars – or any wars for that matter.  But the situation on the ground in Libya is far from secure and the Gaddafis’ aren’t even packed to leave.  The talk of a successful turn in the kind of warfare we conduct is a bit premature and ill-advised.  And to make this article more difficult to swallow, Coughlin states at the end that to arm the rebels would be to declare defeat of our new-found war platform. At least that is a step away from saying we cannot arm them because we don’t know who they are and that would mean we have ineffective intelligence on the ground.

Posted in: ALLIES, LIBYA, WAR, WAR - CYBER