WW3 Scenario: NATO Vows ‘Conventional’ Retaliation Against Russia’s Cyber Warfare
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned that a major cyber attack could prompt the alliance for a more severe response. The warning came following reports that Russia is trying to probe into the online arena, leaving traces here and there while raising suspicions on cyber warfare. Could Russia be testing NATO’s cyber security capacity for an attack?Advertisement
NATO Sends Out Cyber Attack Warning
“A severe cyber attack may be classified as a case for the alliance. Then NATO can and must react,” Reuters quoted Germany’s Bild newspaper as it interviewed NATO’s secretary general.
“How, that will depend on the severity of the attack,” the official added.
The statement came following the decision of NATO officials to consider cyber as an official operational domain of warfare. Cyber joins areas such as land, air and sea.
The assessment is nothing new as the 2014 evaluation also said that cyber attacks could prompt NATO’S mutual defense guarantee, or Article 5. This means that if attacks fall under such category then NATO could possibly address the situation through conventional weapons although such deployment will still be subject to consensus.
Once NATO considers cyber as a domain then it will be able to enhance its planning and management of resources. These also include improving personnel training and cyber defense operations.
“We have no offensive cyber doctrine or offensive cyber capability. And there are no plans for NATO as a body to use such capabilities. NATO’s core cyber defense task is to defend NATO’s own networks,” a NATO official said.
Not Clear Yet What Russia Wants
James Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington claimed that there was “a huge reluctance to share capabilities.” He previously covered how NATO can deploy offensive cyberweapons.
“The Russians get that,” New York Times quoted Lewis said. “And they know that there is lots they can do without triggering any response.” However, a concern is that the Russians seem to be apt in covering their tracks. There is no clear end game yet to what Russian hackers were trying to do including the reported case in the Baltic region.
“Whatever the Russians have in mind — mostly intimidation — it usually fails,” said Estonia’s president, Toomas Hendrik Ilves.
“The biggest problem in cyber remains deterrence,” said Mr. Ilves.
“We have been talking about the need to deal with it within NATO for years now.”