Decades ago, when the USA was a serious nation, an attack on any American or American institution would be met with a sharp and painful response.
Those days appear to be long gone.
During Biden’s ‘Summit About Nothing’ with Vladimir Putin, the Russian strongman was given a list of 16 key infrastructure categories that are “off–limits” to Russian cyberattacks. We don’t have an exact list, but we’re assuming those industries not among the favored 16 — say crypto exchanges and Ticketmaster — need to hire better lobbyists in the future or put Hunter on the payroll.
Biden described the list thusly, “I talked about the proposition that certain critical infrastructure should be off limits to attack — period — by cyber or any other means. I gave them a list, if I’m not mistaken — I don't have it in front of me — 16 specific entities; 16 defined as critical infrastructure under U.S. policy, from the energy sector to our water systems.”
We can’t think of a more dramatic way to send a signal of weakness to your adversaries.
Try as we might, we can’t see Harry Truman or Ronald Reagan limiting federal government protection to a handful of favored industries. A cyberattack on any US entity would have resulted in immediate retribution.
We’ve recently seen a major petroleum pipeline and a major supplier of beef — think of it as cutting off fuel for the car and the driver — hit by cyberattacks and the response from the FBI has been to advise not paying the ransom.
Both attacks were blamed on Russian cybercriminals, but we wonder. Were the attackers Russian or is Russia just a convenient boogieman? We’ve seen no announcements of equivalent damage done to Russian cyber infrastructure, which only leads to more questions.
Is the lack of response due to the fact Russia wasn’t really the source of the attack, so an attack in response would be uncalled for? Or, worse, is the lack of response due to the fact the billions we spend each year on the national security state results in a security–industrial complex that can’t fight back? Our ‘diverse’ and lavishly funded hackers can’t compete with Putin’s?
Or is all the national security state computer bandwidth currently taken up in the hunt for more middle–Americans who trespassed on January 6th?
Fox News shared comments from those who were equally appalled, “I'm very circumspect about Biden’s actions in this summit because we're supposed to impose costs when cyberattacks occur and when they meet a level of attribution to a state," said Kara Frederick, a research fellow in technology policy at the Heritage Foundation. “Most cyber criminals in Russia operate with tacit state approval. Instead of painting a target on 16 of these things, we should be disrupting their networks,” she added.
Assuming we can disrupt their networks.
Fox found Republicans were also shocked at Biden’s weakness. Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, had what we consider to be the best response, “I think he should have brought a map of the United States and just said, ‘Here's everything you can't attack,’” Instead, Lankford said, Biden effectively communicated to the Russians that "you can attack these other areas."
At the recent G7 meeting, Biden said, “America is back.” And that’s true. America is back to the same craven, fearful, insecure foreign policy we had under Jimmy Carter. Weakness on the world stage has consequences. We fear the rest of us will soon learn, to our dismay, what Biden’s sowing weakness will reap.
Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker's bureau. Read Michael Reagan's Reports — More Here.
Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)" Read Michael Shannon's Reports — More Here.
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