There's a very interesting article on Russia's Sputnik magazine website that was discovered and shared by Mr. V.T., and as might be expected, this is another one of those "little" stories that is huge with significance, and that didn't fall right off the radar screan of the western and American lamestream media, because it wasn't even on their radar screen. It's very short, but I think you'll see why it's huge with significance:
These three paragraphs pretty much sum up what the German Federal Defense Forces are after:
Germany faces increasing cyberattacks on its infrastructure. Therefore, according to German officials, the Bundeswehr should be responsible for "the defense against cyberattacks, which represent an armed attack on Germany" in the future.
The use of the armed forces can be allowed in the event of attacks on critical infrastructure, such as communications or transport networks, as reported by Spiegel.However, the plans of the German Minister of Defense go even further.
The Bundeswehr is expected to be able to carry out "offensive cyberattacks inside the country and abroad". For instance, it is expected to be able to "reduce and, possibly, even eliminate" the access of the enemy to mobile networks and Internet. (Emphases added)
One should recall in this context the remarks of German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeir last year in Berlin, calling for Germany to accept its world power role and assume a more militaristic posture in its foreign affairs, a speech hailing - perhaps - a break with the "soft power" methods of postwar German diplomacy in previous decades. Indeed, that break is already somewhat of a de facto reality, as it was under Chancellor Kohl that German military forces were committed to operations outside German borders for the first time since the end of the Second World War when Kohl, at the request of the Croatian government, recognized that government and rushed a squadron of the Luftwaffe and German armored battalions to that country on a peace-keeping mission, and as a not-too-subtle warning against Serbia, which harbored long memories of the suddenness of Von Mackensen's occupation of the country in World War One, and the even more swift blitzkrieg in May of 1941.
What is interesting in this Bundeswehr policy recommendation is, firstly, that a cyber attack on Germany would be considered an armed attack on the country, which opens the door to the total range of armed responses, from "soft" cyber-countermeasures to a "hard" armed response, and secondly, that as a component of developing this range of responses, the Bundeswehr "is expected to be able to carry out offensive cyberattacks inside the country and abroad."
Notably, what is absent - at least in Sputnik's reportage - is any mention of who it considers the principal threat or threats to be. And here, of course, the door is opened for our trademark high octane speculation. One can guess at the usual suspects: China, Russia, and even the group Anonymous(if they're not working for them already). But I suggest that it is in the context of recent events that this paper should be read and appreciated for what it really is, for recall that Germany, and indeed Chancellorin Merkel herself, were mightily displeased at the extent of American spying on that country, particularly in the form of electronic surveillance. Now, I don't for a moment think that this spying isn't a two-way street. Allies spy on each other all the time. America spies on Britain, France, Japan, Italy, &c., and they spy on us. What's really being implied here is that Germany, which bears with France the lion's share of the vast "Euro-projects" from CERN's collider to the European Space Agency, is recognizing the need to beef up its cyber capabiltiies, and in particular this will mean the ability to protect its military assets, communications, command, and control against any potential threat, and similarly, will develop offensive cyber capabilities against any threat. And that means in turn it will need to develop its own domestic computer industry, hardware and software, and design systems not dependent on any foreign source or power.
In other words, if you were waiting for Germany's response to the NSA spying on that country, you just received it.
See you on the flip side...