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Loss of Sanctuary

Module 7

The Lesson

Go back to intro. Go back to module 6. Go to module 8.


The module learning objectives:


Historical Review

What was Pearl Harbor? A strike at the heart of America.

Why Pearl Harbor? Japan wanted to eliminate the US's ability to project power in the Pacific.

How do countries today project power?


Another Consideration

Why are Third World nations so desperately seeking weapons of mass destruction (WMD)?

Many nations do not have the resources to maintain a powerful military force. WMDs, such as nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons present an economically viable alternative for security.

What was wrong with Japan's WWII strategy and recent efforts by Third World nations? Pearl Harbor ensured a response from the United States. Japan wanted to erase the U.S. Pacific military threat. They, of course, did not accomplish that. Iran, Iraq, Libya, and others want to reduce the effectiveness of American military influence, but they know doing so explicitly and deliberately would result in war.


An Effective Information (electronic) Pearl Harbor

An Effective Information (electronic) Pearl Harbor So what would an effective Information Pearl Harbor look like? Today, our critical infrastructures consist of the transportation, power, and industrial networks. These all could be likely targets.

The U.S. may find it difficult to use military force in response to an Information Pearl Harbor-type attack. It is difficult for the U.S. to retaliate using military action when the country did not suffer loss of life and cannot even determine who to target.


Weapons Choice From a Non-US Perspective

Force Deployed Relative Expense Anticipated Response
Military deployment Very high In kind. US would dominate.
Nuclear High Possible in-kind. US would win.
Chemical/biological Medium Definite military response. US would win.
IW infrastructure attack Low US can't ID attacker. Can't retaliate.


Information Pearl Harbor Summary

  1. Many developing nations are seeking to level the field with respect to the basic elements of power.
  2. Most nations have started advancing their economic and political development, and thus are seeking to increase their international status.
  3. No nation on earth can afford to challenge the U.S. militarily. IW can level the field.
  4. The political, economic, and military reaction to an IW Pearl Harbor is an acceptable risk to an attacking nation.
  5. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that the next Pearl Harbor will be against a critical aspect of America's infrastructure. Further, it is reasonable to suggest that this attack will be launched via cyberspace.


Return to Information Warfare Tutorial Intro/Contents

Go back to intro. Go back to module 6. Go to module 8.