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Since the Pentagon officially recognized the Internet as a field for war, United States military commanders have been preparing intensely to counter potential cyber attacks made on the nation from overseas.
The Pentagon’s 2011 “Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace” outlines its operations for defensive cyber actions. However, according to NPR, the military is leaving its offensive plans out of the public conversation.
William Lyyn, former deputy secretary of defense told NPR, “The thrust of the strategy is defensive. Establishing robust cyber defenses no more militarizes cyberspace than having a navy militarizes the ocean."
According to NPR, U.S. commanders have been using a number of resources geared toward offensive cyber attacks against adversaries.
Atlantic Council’s Jason Healey told NPR, “If we are allowing ourselves to go on the offense without thinking about it, we're likely to militarize cyberspace. We will end up with a cyberspace where everyone is attacking everyone else. I don't believe we need to go on the offense just yet.”
The Department of Defense stated in a report that if told by the president, they will launch “offensive cyber operations.”