This revelation provides perspective to the recent prediction from Cybersecurity Ventures that global cybersecurity spending will increase steadily to exceed $1 trillion from 2017 to 2021; and, the cost of cybercrime around the world will rise to $6 trillion annually by 2021. Inherently, something is wrong with any prediction that correlates increased spending on prevention with increased damages from successful penetration of those same defenses.
Presidential anger would risk United States being blamed for Pyongyang’s actionsA report released this week that exposes the existence of more than a dozen hidden missile bases in North Korea may not be news to intelligence services in Seoul and Washington, but the exposure has important political implications for US negotiations with the North, and indeed stability on the Peninsula. Equally, it highlights the power of crowdsourcing, open-source intelligence gathering, and analysis by the public at large. This, too, has implications for policy making well beyond the report’s findings.
The Washington Post reported on November 12 on how a small group of Korea experts pieced together publicly available satellite imagery and interviews with North Korean defectors and government officials to identify thirteen undeclared missile bases. They conclude more bases may be hidden. The Washington Post reported on July 30, 2018, that North Korea could be constructing new missiles at the same factory that produced its first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.
The above warning is the opening of the National Defense Strategy Commission’s report, which was released on November 13. The Commission—of which I was a member—was established by the 2017 Defense Authorization Act to independently assess the state of the nation’s defense as well as to review the Department of Defense’s (DOD) January 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS).
In our report, we note that many of the skills necessary to conduct military operations have atrophied and that the United States’ edge in technologies that underpin US military superiority is eroding or has disappeared. We add that these trends are undermining both our ability to deter adversaries and the confidence of US allies, increasing the likelihood of military conflict.
For example, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker raised instant alarm bells, and condemnation, in London and other national capitals in March 2015 when he declared that Europe needed a common army to ward off subversive threats from Russia.
More recently, French President Emmanuel Macron made a similar appeal on November 6. Responding to today’s deteriorating international order, he said Europe must decrease its reliance on what he implied was an increasingly unpredictable United States, a stance US President Donald J. Trump immediately called “insulting,” even if he took Macron’s remarks out of context.
In a speech on November 13, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also called for the creation of a European army.
So how feasible is a common army for the foreseeable future?
Macron introduced the Paris Call at the Internet Governance Forum in Paris. The event was part of Paris Digital Week, which has brought together thinkers, innovators, decision-makers and investors for a discussion on current and future digital issues from November 11 to November 14.
In his speech, Macron called on all actors to work together toward building trust and security in cyberspace. Many states, as well as private companies and civil society organizations, have already thrown their support behind the declaration on developing common principles for securing cyberspace. The Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative is proud to be one of the early supporters of the Call.
His tactics can lack diplomatic elegance (mostly by intention) and anger partners, but it’s undeniable he has locked his legacy-seeking sites on what looks to be an overwhelming list of long-festering problems. Among them: NATO allies’ unwillingness to bear sufficient defense burdens, China’s unfair trade practices, Russia’s violation of a short and intermediate-range missile treaty, North Korea’s nuclear proliferation and Iran’s dangerously malign behavior.