(Inoffizielle) Sicht des britischen Verteidigungsministerium auf Cyber-Konflikte

In der vergangenen Woche hat Air Marshal Phil Osborn, der „Chief of Defence Intelligence“  des britischen Verteidigungsministerium am Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London über die Bedeutung von „Intelligence and Information Advantage“ und deren Relevanz für zukünftige Konflikte gesprochen (lokale Kopie des Transkript). Obgleich er betont dass es sich dabei um seine Meinung und keine offzielle Stellungnahme des Verteidigungsministerium handelt, weist er eingehend darauf hin, dass diese Sichtweise im großen und ganzen den aktuellen Debattenstand innerhalb des Ministeriums und beauftragter Gremien wiedergeben. Die interessantesten Passagen hier im Zitat:

Conflict itself tends to be measured in certainly weeks, usually months and sometimes years. Today, all of this remains true … except in cyberspace. Depending on opposition capability and intent, and critically our resilience, a full-scale cyber confrontation could have nationally strategic crippling effects in minutes and hours. Moreover, the preparation of the offensive and defensive aspects of this type of conflict will be time and resource consuming, perhaps measured over years and will be battlefield specific, albeit that this battlefield will transcend geographic boundaries.


We know that there is significant growth in information-based capabilities such as offensive cyber and sophisticated information operations. Unconstrained by geography, these capabilities, when used, are often difficult to attribute, at least quickly. (..) For some, this ability to wage hidden and difficult to attribute warfare, in cyberspace and elsewhere, brings the opportunity to be much more aggressive and to take risk (..) The consequent risk of confrontation and miscalculation is rising.


Put bluntly, without change, we risk quickly falling behind in today and tomorrow’s full-spectrum confrontation. This context demands (..) that  our capabilities are better tailored to this accelerating shift in operational environment. ‘More of the same’ just won’t cut it (..) There are many attributes to success in this context. For me, the priorities are: strategic agility and adaptability; interoperability rather than just interconnectivity; and Information Advantage from a resilient, integrated Defence Operational Platform.


The third priority is to deliver Information Advantage, from a resilient, integrated Defence Operational Platform (..) Information Advantage is a concept which of course encompasses the increasing employment of information- and data-based capabilities (..) from information operations to offensive cyber (..) An integrated Defence operational platform provides the essential launchpad for full spectrum operations, with resilient systems and ways of working, reputational defence and offense, and integrated strategic communications all being pivotal factors in the delivery of full spectrum confrontation.


(..) We will require far enhanced Information capabilities, this should not be substantively at the expense of more traditional conventional capabilities. There is a clear need for symmetric and asymmetric choice, within a more challenging physical and virtual operating environment, and incorporating a far greater range of escalation options. This underlines the need to expand and modernise our more conventional capabilities in addition to adding new information capabilities. British military personnel and equipment remain some of the very best in the world, and we should maximise their utility.