1.4.6 Strategic Vulnerability of Infrastructure to Information Attack
The growing dependence of the United States on
its national information infrastructure, as well the dependence of other
elements of its infrastructure (e.g., electric power, transportation) on
information technology, poses potential strategic vulnerabilities that are
without precedent. Exploitation of these vulnerabilities by an adversary poses
the risk of asymmetric warfare or conflict, in which an adversary does not
directly challenge U.S. military might but rather seeks to do damage to the
United States in ways that do not require large military forces and where the
source of the attack is difficult to identify with certainty.
A further concern is that the U.S. military itself is
highly dependent on the U.S. national infrastructure for C4I (information and
communications) as well as other services. Thus, a successful attack on the U.S.
infrastructure might well have the additional effect of compromising traditional
U.S. military readiness and ability to respond militarily.17