Most powerful, most vulnerable, fear to initiate escalation.
I would add the special susceptibility to asymmetry
If cyberwar is such a threat, why is the Pentagon doing so little to prepare for it?
Last month, while reviewing his
career a few days before retirement, former Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike
Mullen discussed what he sees are the two "existential" threats facing the
United States. After nuclear weapons, Mullen listed cyberattacks, which, he
said, "actually can bring us to our knees."
Read more at www.foreignpolicy.com
But a more important argument against a cyberattack was the
desire to avoid setting a precedent that other adversaries could later exploit
against the United States. Similarly, the U.S. government considered
hacking Osama bin Laden's bank accounts but refrained because officials
feared that such an attack could cause investors to lose faith in the
safeguards underpinning the global financial system. The common theme is that the
United States, including its military forces, is among the heaviest users of
computer networks and thus has the strongest incentive to avoid escalating
combat in this domain.