Last fall, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned of a "cyber Pearl Harbor." It could "cause physical destruction and loss of life," he said. It could "paralyze and shock the nation and create a new profound sense of vulnerability."
US officials never lack for hyperbole. Fear-mongering is longstanding policy. So are Big Lies, false flags, and other pretexts for wars, other military actions, and disruptive ones.
Cyberwar capability adds to America's arsenal. Preemption adds another dirty tactic.
In early February, US media reports headlined stepped-up cyberwar. Preemption is prioritized. Nation states, organizations, and individuals are fair game.
US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) has full operational control. It's a cyber hit squad. It's part of the US Strategic Command.
It's based at Fort Meade, MD. General Keith Alexander serves as National Security Agency (NSA) director and US Cyber Command head.
The New York Times cited a secret legal review. It affords Obama sweeping preemptive cyberattack powers.
It permits him "to order a preemptive strike if the United States detects (allegedly) credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad."
His word alone is policy. Corroborating evidence isn't needed. Efforts to protect classified and proprietary information are increasing.
The Washington Post said wireless and technology giants are battling over a plan to create super Wi-Fi networks.
The Wall Street Journal said Google, Microsoft and Amazon are competing to control cloud computing business.
The Christian Science Monitor said preemptive cyberwar entered America's arsenal. It "nugded up along side other" approved tactics and techniques.
New policies govern how intelligence agencies work. They've been unrestrained before. They'll have greater powers now.
The New York Times said they'll be able to "carry out searches of faraway computer networks for signs of potential attacks on the United States and, if the president approves, attack adversaries by injecting them with destructive code - even if there is no declared war."
Rules of engagement are classified. Effectively there are none. Cyber-warriors are freewheeling. They're unrestrained.
They'll operate anywhere globally. China is a target of choice. It's America's main economic and geopolitical competitor.