A Cyber-Culprit Other Than Russia?
Buffeted on all sides, from the unceremonious (literally) departure from Afghanistan to various cyber crimes blamed on Russia, President Biden is being challenged by the likes of the New York Times’s David Sanger to show he has cojones (free translation from Spanish – manliness). ( See: Biden Weighs a Response to Ransomware Attacks.
Will Biden let himself be shamed into taking “some kind of visible action” against Russia; something much stronger than just another “verbal warning”? What could possibly go wrong?
The answer? A whole lot can go wrong. Even the Times article, while taunting Biden to show he’s a man, includes a trace of responsible maturity (yes, you must read down to paragraph 21, but it’s there) by including this caution: “… although the U.S. may possess what Mr. Biden calls ‘significant cybercapability’”, using it offensively runs serious risk.
The Times warns that the US”is also more vulnerable to cyberattacks than most nations because it is so digitized, and most of its critical infrastructure is owned by businesses that have not adequately invested in their digital defense. Thus, any escalation risks blowback.” In addition, the Times typically plays down the many key uncertainties regarding the perpetrators of the cyber crimes.
The “Red Line” Gambit
Two critical assumptions underly the Times’s approach that: (1) the Russian government is the default-actor – the responsible party perpetrating, or allowing, the recent flurry of cyber attacks; and (2) ipso facto, those attacks cross an assumed “red line” laid down by Biden in warning Putin at the June 16 summit.
Joe Biden is not the first president to be mousetrapped into setting a flammable “red line’’ that comes back to bite him. Perhaps Biden can recall how President Obama almost fell for it.
On August 20, 2012 NBC’s Chuck Todd primed that mousetrap with some cheese by asking Obama about Syrian chemical weapons. Obama answered:
“I have, at this point, not ordered military engagement … We have been
Article from LewRockwell