Skip to comments.USA Losing to ISIS: Obama's Defense Official Defends ISIS' "Right" to Internet Services in Raqqa
Posted on 06/24/2016 10:30:04 AM PDT by DogByte6RER
Thornberry Fears Bureaucracy Hamstrings Cyber Vs. ISIS
WASHINGTON: Why does the internet still work in Raqqa? That simple question about the Syrian capital of Daesh, the self-proclaimed Islamic State, posed today by retired fighter pilot Rep. Martha McSally, goes to the heart of how the military will use or refrain from using cyber weapons. It goes to deep suspicions that President Obamas swollen National Security Council staff is micromanaging the military. No less a figure than House Armed Services Committee chairman Mac Thornberry voiced deep concern that we are bureaucratizing the cyber force at birth.
All too often in the air war, by the time you get permission to do it (i.e. strike), the target is gone I have personally talked to pilots who have had that happen, Thornberry said at this mornings full-committee hearing on cyber operations, for which the war on Daesh has been an official coming-out. Im concerned, I guess, that we are developing the same multi-layered bureaucracy, decision-making process, when it comes to cyber.
When things are moving at the speed of light, if we go through this multi-layered decision process to push the button on a cyber response, then we are going to be hopelessly behind, said Thornberry. (To help de-layer that process, Thornberry wants CYBERCOM to become an independent combatant command, moving it out from under Strategic Command more on that below).
Thornberrys remark was prompted by an administration witnesss answer to Rep. McSally. The exchange (edited for length) is illuminating:
We have known cells in Raqqa that are directing training, that are directing operations very specifically targeting against Americans, McSally said. Why is the internet not shut down in Raqqa?
The assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and global security, Thomas Atkin, deferred a detailed answer to the closed-door hearing this afternoon. In general terms, certainly going after specific nodes to hamper and stop the use of the internet by ISIS is important, but we also have to respect the rights of citizens to have access to the internet, he said. So its a careful balance, even in Raqqa.
Thornberry followed up. I understand the concept of proportionality, he said, but are you arguing that the citizens of Raqqa have some sort of inherent right to access the internet that you all have to try to weigh?
Taking out the internet isnt a straightforward operation, Atkin replied. The Islamic State and other guerrilla/terrorist forces often rely on civilian infrastructure, so shutting down their internet service provider also cuts off legitimate civilian users in a wide area. How that effect occurs has greater impact than just against the adversary and we have to weigh that in to all our operations, he said, whether thats a kinetic or a cyber operation.
After some additional back and forth ending with an awkward silence from the administration witnesses Thornberry reserved further questions for the classified hearing. Okay, well, well talk more about it, he said, but, again, I am not yet reassured.
The administrations position is that cyber operations must follow the same laws of war as physical combat, and that cyber attacks require the same kind of review as kinetic strikes. That includes such considerations as collateral damage e.g. in shutting down the terrorists internet access, do you take it out for innocent civilians as well? and proportionality is the damage to civilians excessive for the military gain?
Our operations in cyberspace are subject to the same rules as every operation, so were constrained by the laws of armed conflict and other limitations, said Lt. Gen. Kevin McLaughlin, deputy commander of CYBERCOM. We feel like we have the authorities and flexibility we need.
But many in Congress, not just Republicans, are concerned that the White House, specifically the National Security Council, is binding the militarys hands on how many troops to deploy, what targets to strike, and what means to use.
What if any role does the NSC play in your cyber operations? asked the committees senior Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith. This is a subject thats come up in our hearings(:) the increasing role of the NSC over the top of, in some cases, the Department of Defense.
We keep them advised of the operations we have ongoing through the interagency process, said Atkin. When necessary we coordinate and get the presidents permission to conduct operations when his permission is inquired.
We may want to pursue that a little further, broke in Thornberry.
One way to streamline the bureaucratic process would be to make Cyber Command a stand-alone combatant command (COCOM), rather than a subordinate unit of Strategic Command as it is today. Thornberry and Smith both advocate this reorganization and included it in their draft of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017, although the Senate doesnt include similar language.
Isnt it time for CYBERCOM to stand on its own as a combatant command? Thornberry asked.
I think the short answer to that is yes, said Atkin. We are continuing to look at that within the Department.
Whats the hold up? asked Rep. Smith.
Our biggest challenges are going to be resources, said Atkin. In other words, as always, the bottom line is funding.
Maybe it is working out better for our cyber-spies than it is for the bad guys.
Gets harder to deny that ISIS is a CIA operation every day, doesn’t it?
Our Enemy in Chief is losing to ISIS because he pretends it doesn’t exist and hates America anyway so no skin off his nose.
America will defeat ISIS quickly once Trump is in there.
If we are getting any intel value, leave it. If there is more value in disrupting ISIS’ command and control, take it out.
Allow me to connect the dots. Obama is ISIS. Now was that so hard?
ISIS ROARED TO POWER MONTHS AFTER SECRET MEETING WITH JOHN MCCAIN (PHOTOS)
Amazing -— Finally!!! After running against Mac and the RINO GOPe twice and getting more votes than I believe he expected, the man is finally showing signs of beginning to grow a backbone!!! Tea Party pressure sure does a career, lifetime, professional politician some good.
Hey, Hilliarily/Iman Obama, look at a mirror and at the faces of your inner circle to see who is responsible for Islamic Terrorism in America! It is not Trump's fault nor the NRA's fault!
ISIS has no Navy, no boats, no ships, no submarines. They have no Air Force, no bombers, no jet fighters, no troop carriers or refueling planes. ISIS has no ballistic missiles, no scuds, no short range missiles. They have no Space Program, no satellites, no real time intelligence.
THE ONLY WEAPON SYSTEMS ISIS HAS THAT CAN KILL AMERICANS ARE THE OBAMA/CLINTON/JARRETT/LYNCH/ DHS SECY JEH JOHNSON + the TRAITORS & DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS, FAUX News, ABCNNBCBS, Washington Compost, Ny Slimes, WHO DEMAND WE ALLOW MUSLIMS TO IMMIGRATE TO AMERICA TO SLAUGHTER INNOCENT AMERICANS.
Then, they try to disarm us to make us more vulnerable.
Peaceful Islamic ISIS future Killers arriving in America including a new immigrant under the watch of Obama! (photo ABC News)
One of the oldest tenets in military strategy is to cut off or at least limit the enemy’s means to communicate, and do it as quickly as possible.
Over Half the people in this country vote for and allow fraudulently a guy named Hussein who was brought up in Indonesia in Muslim schools and has no background no family no college records a questionable birth certificate that the army would reject of a get in or go to jail private first class to be our president for two terms while promising to transform us and doing just that, admitting Muslim militant operatives run of the state department and the White House while treating Americans like immoral, unworthy people, erasing what’s good in our classical culture and history in academia and contemporary culture, repopulating and drawing down our entire military and there’s any question that we have lost to al quada and Isis?
Did the Third Reich have a right to radio communications?
Internet? Why do they have F-ing electrical power in Raqqa?
Option 1: Obama is so shockingly stupid that he has made the worst possible decision for America on every single issue, large and small, that he has dealt with for seven and a half terrible years.
Option 2: Obama was telling the truth when he promised that he would stand with radical Islam.
Obama insisting that America’s enemies need Internet to get their message out is just one more data point supporting the second option.
Heck, half those guys in the image are probably CIA employees. Why the head coverings ?
Another issue for Trump to highlight about Democrat values.
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