In response to the hundreds of assaults against government computer systems' firewalls on a daily basis, the U.S. military is weaving computer technology into its standard warfare arsenal.
The military's blueprint is the "2006 National Military Strategy for Cyberspace Operations," which includes offensive and defensive strategies. The document is classified, but could include offensive techniques such as immobilizing an enemy's command-and-control networks.
The U.S. military and the U.S. government rely on computers to a great extent, which makes both agencies susceptible to everything from network-crippling viruses to illegal intrusions that aim to steal sensitive data. The Department of Homeland Security recorded 37,000 reports of attempted breaches on private and federal systems in a part year. Moreover, computer control systems that direct public infrastructure elements confront "increasing risks," according to the Government Accountability Office.
A question that comes to mind here is since the US military protects our borders, protects our interests overseas, protects our allies, and would defend against any physical invasion of our sovereign soil, will the US military protect our virtual borders, interests, allies, and against any virtual invasion that focuses on vertical industries in the US?
Thanks to its advanced firewalls and multilayered systems, the United States has prevented attacks that could cause extensive disruption to federal and private institutions while other holes exist that have led to publicized and unpublished penetrations of our infrastructure. However, many countries have advanced computer operations, and foreign hackers affiliated with hostile governments are often believed to be behind attacks on U.S. systems.
The new cyber commands within the US military will need to establish mercenary programs with private industry, virtual cyber forces that perform offensive actions against entities hostile to the US Government and critical infrastructures. This program will eventually extend to offensive and defensive mercenaries, Blackwater-like forces that establish cyber fortresses around US interests both foreign and domestic as well as off shore 'bases' from which to launch attacks outside the jurisdiction of the United States. The virtual forces will align into an integrated command structure – attacking when attacked; attacking as a first strike imperative; and attacking when more physical actions are required. New opportunities exist for virtual security and risk mercenaries. Will current laws that govern current military action be transferable to cyberspace? Are there virtual force organizations today and from what soil do they operate?