USA/Kanada — Lynn Discusses Cybersecurity Cooperation With Canadian Leaders

OTTAWA — U.S. and Cana­di­an ser­vice­mem­bers are work­ing side by side in defense of North Amer­i­ca and fight­ing side by side in defense of free­dom in Afghanistan. Now offi­cials want to expand that coop­er­a­tion to the cyber­world.

Deputy Defense Sec­re­tary William J. Lynn III meets with Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Advi­sor Marie-Lucie Morin in Ottawa, June 14, 2010.
DoD pho­to by Cherie Cullen
Click to enlarge

Deputy Defense Sec­re­tary William J. Lynn III is in the Cana­di­an cap­i­tal to dis­cuss ways the two nations – already the clos­est of allies – can coop­er­ate to defend crit­i­cal com­put­er net­works and cyber infrastructure. 

Lynn said the cyber threat to the Unit­ed States and Cana­da is real and grow­ing, and affects nation­al and eco­nom­ic security. 

“For most of our his­to­ry, we have been shield­ed by geog­ra­phy – shield­ed by our oceans from attack,” he said. “Those nat­ur­al geo­graph­ic defens­es are of no use when it comes to cyber­at­tack. The Inter­net can trans­mit mali­cious code in the blink of an eye.” 

And intru­sions are grow­ing more fre­quent. More than 100 for­eign intel­li­gence orga­ni­za­tions are try­ing to hack into var­i­ous aspects of the U.S. infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy infra­struc­ture, Lynn said. 

“For­eign mil­i­taries are devel­op­ing offen­sive cyber capa­bil­i­ties, and some gov­ern­ments have the capac­i­ty to dis­rupt ele­ments of the U.S. infor­ma­tion grid,” he said. 

Lynn stressed that cyber attacks are not just mil­i­tary threats, but threats to the crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture and eco­nom­ic well-being. 

“A shared approach, an alliance approach to cyber­se­cu­ri­ty is crit­i­cal,” he said. 

The speed of attacks – mea­sured in mil­lisec­onds – will require quick deci­sions and even quick­er respons­es, the deputy sec­re­tary noted. 

“To have the high­est lev­els of pro­tec­tion, you want the widest set of allies so you under­stand and antic­i­pate the broad­est set of threats,” he said. “In the cyber are­na, know­ing who your adver­sary is, and what they’ve done, is a key part of mount­ing an effec­tive response.” 

Yet deter­min­ing where an attack orig­i­nates is tough. The U.S.-Canadian coop­er­a­tion dur­ing the Cold War is a mod­el for how to move for­ward, he said. 

“It is always best when search­ing for mark­ers of intru­sions and attacks to cast the widest net pos­si­ble,” he said.“International coop­er­a­tion is imper­a­tive for estab­lish­ing the chain of events for an intru­sion, and for quick­ly and deci­sive­ly respond­ing. The real­i­ty is that we can­not defend our net­works by our­selves. We need a shared defense.” 

And that defense must include moré than just mil­i­tary net­works, Lynn not­ed. “We need to devel­op a shared cyber doc­trine that allows us to work flu­id­ly with each oth­er and with our oth­er allies,” he said. 

The sec­re­tary also dis­cussed chal­lenges fac­ing both nations in the 21st cen­tu­ry dur­ing a speech to the Con­fer­ence of Defence Asso­ci­a­tions Institute. 

The U.S.-Canadian alliance has changed since the end of the Cold War, Lynn not­ed. The alliance works togeth­er on mar­itime sur­veil­lance and infra­struc­ture pro­tec­tion. The Unit­ed States worked with Cana­da on secu­ri­ty for the Van­cou­ver Olympics and in pro­vid­ing relief to Haiti. 

“Our endur­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion has risen to meet chal­lenges that frankly our pre­de­ces­sors could not have fore­seen,” Lynn said. 

The sec­re­tary par­tic­u­lar­ly praised the role of Cana­di­an ser­vice­mem­bers in Region­al Com­mand South in Afghanistan. 

“Your sol­diers are on the front lines in the south where we face some of the most severe threats,” he said. “They are in a cam­paign to restore gov­er­nance to regions where the Tal­iban has long held sway.” 

Cana­da has paid a high price, with 147 Cana­di­an ser­vice­mem­bers killed in Afghanistan. 

“I want to say on behalf of the pres­i­dent and the Amer­i­can peo­ple that we rec­og­nize and hon­or the sac­ri­fice and com­mit­ment that the Cana­di­an peo­ple and armed forces have made to the fight,” he said. 

The deputy sec­re­tary said the last decade has led both Cana­da and the Unit­ed States to a new under­stand­ing of what threats they face, and what must be done to com­bat them. “Seen from a broad­er per­spec­tive, the con­flict in Afghanistan reflects impor­tant changes that are under way in the nature of war­fare,” he said. “These changes have impor­tant impli­ca­tions for our defense planning.” 

The first and most promi­nent change in the nature of war­fare has to do with lethal­i­ty, Lynn said. In the past, the more sophis­ti­cat­ed an adver­sary, the more lethal the threat. The Sovi­ets had nuclear weapons and sophis­ti­cat­ed con­ven­tion­al capa­bil­i­ties. Rogue states, ter­ror­ists and insur­gents did not. 

But this has changed. “Ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions and rogue states seek weapons of mass destruc­tion,” he said. “Insur­gents are armed with impro­vised explo­sive devices that are capa­ble of pen­e­trat­ing even the most advanced armored vehi­cles. We even see crim­i­nal orga­ni­za­tions that pos­sess world-class cyber capabilities.” 

To com­bat this, the mil­i­tary force must become more agile, and more capa­ble through the spec­trum of conflict. 

“We need to be as pro­fi­cient at wag­ing a coun­terin­sur­gency cam­paign as we are at wag­ing high-end con­ven­tion­al cam­paigns,” the deputy sec­re­tary said. 

The dura­tion of con­flicts also has changed. U.S. mil­i­tary plan­ning has been based on fight­ing two near-simul­ta­ne­ous wars. 

“Plan­ners antic­i­pat­ed that these con­flicts could be quite intense, but they also antic­i­pat­ed that they would be rather short,” he said. “This con­struct no longer fits our real­i­ty.” In the two cur­rent wars, it was not the inten­si­ty of the ini­tial com­bat phase that was most chal­leng­ing, it’s the length of time the Unit­ed States has been involved. 

“These wars have now last­ed longer than the Unit­ed States’ par­tic­i­pa­tion in World War I and World War II com­bined,” Lynn said. 

Repeat­ed deploy­ments exact a high cost on troops and their fam­i­lies. The Unit­ed States has added num­bers to the Army and Marine Corps and is halt­ing reduc­tions in the Navy and Air Force. And defense plan­ners also are giv­ing the pos­si­ble dura­tion of con­flicts more atten­tion, Lynn said. 

The third change in the glob­al secu­ri­ty envi­ron­ment is the move toward foes using asym­met­ric war­fare. The con­ven­tion­al dom­i­nance that NATO enjoys “has led poten­tial adver­saries to seek asym­met­ric tac­tics, to seek out vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties in our con­ven­tion­al forces rather than face those forces head-to-head,” he said. 

They use IEDs and gueril­la tac­tics, or they launch cyber attacks to dis­rupt glob­al com­mand and con­trol, logis­tics and trans­port. Some coun­tries also are invest­ing in anti-access weapons such as sur­face-to-sur­face mis­siles, cyber capa­bil­i­ties and anti-satel­lite tech­nolo­gies to force the Unit­ed States and its allies away from the battlefield. 

“We have irrev­o­ca­bly entered an era of new threats,” the deputy sec­re­tary said. “But we have done so togeth­er, each com­mit­ted to the col­lec­tive defense, and each sure that what­ev­er the future brings, we will face it stand­ing shoulder-to-shoulder.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →