Dempsey: Cyber is the Only Domain in Which US has Peer Competitors

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Nov. 15, 2011 (photo: Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Nov. 15, 2011Excerpt from interview of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey by Chris Wallace, January 11, 2015.

WALLACE: What have you learned about cyber threats from the North Korea hacking of Sony Pictures? How vulnerable are we to a cyber Pearl Harbor?

DEMPSEY: Cyber can be incredibly destructive. It can be disruptive. It can disrupt. And it can destroy.

And it can destroy hardware. It can — it can — it can disable critical infrastructure, which could lead to loss of life. And I think those capabilities are out there.

And, you know, we have, in every domain, Chris, we generally enjoy a significant military advantage. But we have peer competitors in cyber.

WALLACE: In other words, we don’t have an advantage over that?

DEMPSEY: We — we don’t have an advantage. It’s a level playing field. And that makes this chairman very uncomfortable.