US Should Take Main Responsibility
for Prevention of Cyberwar
By Zhong Sheng
The U.S. should realize that leading the development of cyberwarfare capabilities and seeking absolute military dominance will create cyber arms races and military conflict
Translated By Andrea Shen
7 February 2013
Edited by Kyrstie Lane
China - Huanqiu - Original Article (Chinese)
Establishing a peaceful, safe, open and cooperative cyberspace is a common expectation of the international community. Conflict and war in cyberspace are not compatible with peaceful development and could result in no end of trouble.
According to The New York Times, a secret legal review claimed that the U.S. president will authorize a pre-emptive strike if compelling evidence proves that someone has launched a serious cyberattack. Obama has ordered cyberattacks against Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities. In a congressional hearing on Jan. 31, the nominee for U.S. secretary of defense released a lengthy statement on U.S. cyber warfare capabilities and mechanisms. The Washington Post also reported that the U.S. Department of Defense plans to expand its Cyber Command to five times its current size in the next few years. All indications show that the U.S. is taking dangerous steps in the direction of the implementation of cyberwarfare.
With the in-depth development of information technology, the human way of life is changing profoundly. The influence of cyberspace has permeated every aspect of politics, economics, military affairs, society and culture. The Internet and the information network, for example, significantly promote the communication of knowledge and information as well as the global liquidity of capital, technology and talent. This enhances the integration of various cultures as well as economic and societal development, making people’s lives more convenient and colorful and making the world a more dynamic place.
However, as networks are playing a more and more important role in global society and life, the vulnerability of these networks is also becoming apparent. Crime and terrorist activities in cyberspace are becoming rampant and can cause serious harm to social stability and economic development. Worse still, some countries are advancing the development of cyberwarfare capabilities, looking to secure military superiority in cyberspace and promoting the application of laws of armed conflict in cyberspace. This distorts the development of rules for networks, leading to the risk of military conflict in cyberspace and also posing an increasing threat to national security and international peace.
Not surprisingly, while the U.S. ambiguously announces its cyberwarfare program, some U.S. media have started to make groundless accusations, exaggerating the theory of “China as an Internet threat” and making false charges against China for no reason. This is not the first time such bogus claims have been made, and it likely will not be the last. The goal is to create an artificial enemy, finding the excuse to justify cyberwar.
In the face of all kinds of risks in cyberspace, no country can be immune to the effects of turmoil in cyberspace elsewhere in the world. It is necessary to strengthen international cooperation and seek common security. The U.S. is the leader in information technology, controls most of the global Internet resources and key infrastructures, and holds the primary responsibility for maintaining peace and security in cyberspace. Therefore, the U.S. should realize that leading the development of cyberwarfare capabilities and seeking absolute military dominance will create cyber arms races and military conflict, which could have unexpected and disastrous consequences for human society.
In the 21st century, economic globalization and social information are making the global village smaller and smaller. Constructing a peaceful, safe, open and cooperative cyberspace is a common expectation of the international community. The introduction of conflict and war into cyberspace does not conform to the current trend of peaceful development and will result in no end of trouble. Though the U.S. is a cyberpower, the high degree of information [available] in U.S. society also forces it to face a greater degree of vulnerability. Creating a cyberwar does not fit with U.S. interests. For the sake of itself and mankind, the U.S. should think carefully before it acts.
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