Advanced information technology (IT)1 systems and weaponry have caused significant changes
in the international security environment. The changes are monumental, and not all are positive.
Non-state sponsored groups with access to advanced IT can present dangers nearly on a par with
nations. A threat could originate from a drug cartel, warlord, or mafia group's attack on an IT
such as a nuclear power plant, or from the chaos generated by a computer virus inserted into a
country's defense (air defense, nuclear, and so forth) computer system prompted by a variety of
At the same time, situational awareness in nations with access to high technology is more
complete than ever before. The ability to monitor conversations and movements is extraordinary
and affects the character, speed and precision of diplomatic and military responses against all
types of threats. Realizing the impact of rapid new developments in information technology on
the emerging twenty-first century security environment, security officials in both the United
States and Russia are trying to monitor and coordinate defenses and active measures. In the end,
this will require closer coordination between the United States and Russia to ensure that one side
does not misinterpret an event and send the world to the brink of an information war (IW).2
Following reconsideration of military priorities and national security interests as a result of rapid
technological advances, both the United States and Russia elevated the protection of information
assets to a strategic level. They also recognized the compelling need to master the speed of
change in IT and to monitor its spread to rogue nations. IT change is reflected in restructured
defense budgets, infrastructure reorganizations, and the security policies of these nations. Policy
must address not only high technology threats from other nations but also the ability of terrorists
to affect national interests as national armies once did. Further, IT has upset traditional military
considerations such as the employment of military art.
This chapter will discuss three IT related topics: Russian and US views of the impact of IT on
military-political considerations; how both countries are managing IT concerns, to include
civilian restructuring; and opportunities and challenges for US and Russian cooperation in IT.
The discussion is important in that IT offers a threat similar to what Herman Kahn termed
"spasm war" in On Escalation, an irrational, spasmodic response to an attack (whether nuclear or
IT) on a power's C3I (command, control, communication and intelligence) before or during
THE IMPACT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ON MILITARY
For Russia, the initial concern regarding IT was its impact on society, and on the strategy and
tactics of the armed forces. Over the past three years, Russia has actively pursued a methodology
for the use of IT as well to ensure military-political stability. The conditions (to a Russian,
contradictions) that IT methodologies must address are the same as in the past: social, political,
economic, territorial, religious, nationalist, and ethnic, among others. Security analysts
recognize, however, that the form or manifestation of these conditions has changed, as each now
relies heavily on IT. Thus, as Russia develops policy to protect its national interests, preserve its
territorial integrity, maintain its national sovereignty, and protect its population, information
security and IT sit at or near the top of its priorities. Real military power, for example, will not
only be determined by the quantity of forces but by the qualitative parameters of the force,
allowing for the implementation of IT to achieve interoperability in planning; to integrate
technical systems that support command and control and logistics functions; and to successfully
utilize indirect actions (economic sanctions, communications blockades, demonstrations of force,
use of peacekeeping forces, and so forth) to supplement direct deployments and strategies.
The impact of IT (from a Russian viewpoint) on military-political considerations affecting
national security takes many forms. First, information resources require effective state policies
that monitor information security, especially since the use of IT may not involve physical
damage or loss of life, making it more acceptable (no ecological fallout) than nuclear weapons.4
Attempts to disrupt information exchanges or flows, the illegal use and collection of information,
unsanctioned access to information resources, the manipulation of information, the illegal
copying of data from information systems, or the unauthorized theft of information from data
bases and banks are all threats that can disrupt economic or military relations between nations
and require a serious response.5
Second, parity in nuclear forces now can only be achieved through parity in IT. Information
warfare systems (including intelligence and information collection) have upset norms of parity
based primarily on numbers and quality.6 Intelligence, command and control, early warning,
communications, electronic warfare, "special software engineering effects," and disinformation
are issues that upset the traditional correlation of forces, and appear as a hidden form of miltary-
political pressure.7 Superiority in IT, for example, could debilitate a nuclear coding or launch
command procedure, making them unreliable or useless.
Third, Russia cannot allow a PSYWAR-IT (psychological warfareinformation technology)
campaign to destroy the Russian economy. According to some Russian analysts, the US Strategic
Defense Initiative (SDI) was an attempt to economically exhaust the Soviet Union by causing it
to spend money it did not have on systems it could not use. Some Russian analysts view current
United States interest in "information warfare" as another such attempt.8 Russian analysts advise
not to enter an arms race such as IW that is planned by other countries, but to devise military -technical priorities that are suited to the economic opportunities and strategic goals of the
country. An IT strike against the Russian market is another threat in this category.
Fourth, Russia cannot allow IT and information operations to debilitate the nation's
psychological stability, or to cause leaders to make incorrect judgments and decisions.
Information currently presents a threat to society, the individual, and state institutions in Russia
since the population is in a transition period and many citizens are psychologically vulnerable
(that is, without a firm ideological basis). Control of the mass media is one manifestation of this
threat.9 The Internet is also a concern to some Russian officials, since it potentially can be used to
commit crimes or unite political parties and groups against the government. Finally, if a country's
decision-making cycle is damaged through computer network penetration and insertion of
disinformation, governments or agencies may reach incorrect conclusions and decisions.10 This is
particularly dangerous in crisis situations when nations are working under extreme time
Fifth, and perhaps most important, IT's use in information operations blurs the Russian concept
of the initial period of war. Since information attacks may be silent and capable of hiding their
source or origin, planning for or responding to an initial period of war becomes treacherously
complicated. What constitutes and differentiates the start of a crisis period, period of imminent
war, and an offensive information operation, and how would one determine when or how an
operation started? How does one determine with accuracy who delivered the attack? Should one
respond with information actions against all probable enemies or only the most likely? How long
can one delay a response before the entire information infrastructure of a country is under attack
and a response is no longer possible?
Sixth, IT greatly enhances the military effectiveness of weapons systems and exploits point
targets. Qualitative and quantitative indicators of weapon effectiveness have been replaced by the
amount of informatization (digitalization, miniaturization, computer coding, and so forth) that a
weapon contains, allowing huge amounts of information to be processed. IT raises the combat
potential of precision weapons, and affects correlation of forces calculations since the ability
exists, theoretically, to hit strategic point targets (nuclear weapons, command and control nodes,
centers of political and economic significance) anywhere via cruise missiles. Computer viruses
are another concern generated by IT. Many viruses and counter virus agents have been
developed,11 including a stealth virus.12 By the year 2000, Russian scientists also expect to
confront distance virus weapons, computer viruses introduced through radio channels or laser
lines of communications directly into computers of strategic significance.13
Finally, IT has had a significant impact on military art. The spaceair-ground character of
contemporary war includes satellites that process information and offer navigation assistance,
and airborne sensors that detect movement and coordinate fires on ground targets. The center of
gravity for military confrontations has changed from land and sea theaters of military action to
the air-space theater. Warfare has a real-time aspect, requiring forces to acquire/engage/move.
Formerly cyclical military operations (periods of intense conflict followed by periods of
standown) will be replaced by operations that are less cyclical and more linear. Winners will
acquire/shoot/move faster than their opponents for longer periods of time. IT also assists in
overcoming uncertainty in war, producing streams of information allowing for accurate
situational awareness, limiting surprise in the traditional sense, and offering IT landlords the
perspective of a chess player peering five or six moves into the future. Most significantly,
Russian theorists realize that military art must be designed not only for opponents who are equal
in the use of information technology, but also for those adversaries who are superior or inferior
to friendly forces in this respect.14 IT and the infosphere, defined as a body of general and
specialized programs for creating, processing, and storing computerized data, will be likely
targets if war occurs.
For the United States, initial concern centered on how to employ or use IT, since America was
dealt a superior IT hand from the beginning. Only later did the impact of IT on society and the
nation's infrastructure become an issue. For example, the 1997 United States National Military
Strategy refers to information warfare as an asymmetric challenge that could circumvent US
strengths, exploit US vulnerabilities, or confront the nation in ways that could not be matched in
kind.15 This also prompted the creation of a presidential commission to study the problem. The
response of the US military to this challenge was a conceptual warfighting template entitled Joint
Vision 2010, which rested on information superiority and technological innovation, and strived to
implement new operational concepts of dominant maneuver, precision engagement, focused
logistics, and full-dimensional protection.16
The impact of IT (from a US viewpoint) on military-political considerations affecting national
security are, first, that the security link between the commercial and military sectors has grown
much closer. In order to enable IT strategies, the military had to link itself closely with civilian
technology. The military-technical revolution and revolution in military affairs (RMA) actually
started in the civilian sector, led by computer chip and optical fiber technology. Military
applications soon followed. It became apparent, however, that since the military sector continued
to rely heavily on commercial technologies and enterprises (such as phone systems), it was as
prone to criminal attack as the commercial systems. This has forced both sectors to share more
ideas on joint commissions, and to develop joint visions for information security systems to
Second, an extended reliance on IT may invoke an asymmetric attack from a weak IT opponent.
America was confronted by this eventuality during the Gulf War. Saddam Hussein, unable to
counter the coalition's high-tech force, resorted to SCUD, chemical, and ecological terror as
counters. A better equipped and prepared force than Iraq could inflict serious damage on an IT
force, as the Gulf War demonstrated. IT weaponry is a technique but not an end-all. One Russian
has warned that an information attack against it will result in a nuclear strike against the source
of the attack and the country that authorized the attack.17
Third, IT can contribute to maintaining an overseas presence with fewer forces. IT can provide a
virtual presence almost anywhere in the world and monitor early indications and warnings of
potential conflict areas or of treaty or international law violations. Overseas presence is provided
by IT-equipped UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and satellite surveillance. IT in a virtual
presence role is supported by the worldwide presence of the US Navy, whose IT ability to affect
ground operations has improved significantly, especially through the increased role of sensors
and ships armed with cruise missiles. IT also supports the thinking of General Dennis Reimer,
Chief of Staff of the US Army, who believes in strategic pre-emption, the ability to halt or
prevent a conflict or crisis before it becomes debilitating or protracted - before it spreads out of
control.18 Pre-emption can contribute to shaping the environment diplomatically and
economically, and can compel compliance with specific IT measures. The US learned prior to its
intervention in Bosnia that modeling conflicts with superior computer graphics and virtual reality
helped to compel compliance among the parties at the Dayton Accord negotiations. A three-dimensional computer model of Bosnia's terrain was developed and used by negotiators to show
the presidents where the zone of separation must be located, and where their boundaries would
be, with mapping provided by using real-time satellite images from flyovers of Bosnia.19
Fourth, IT allows for communications directly from the Pentagon to the foxhole, blurring the
distinction between levels of action and complicating command issues. IT has produced
communications achievements that are staggering. Senior officials in the Pentagon can now
literally sit in on operations conducted by their forces or by others.
Fifth, IT is assisting in the discovery of new non-lethal weapons based on physical principles.
The US military is working on the development of acoustic, vortex and microwave weapons.20
Computers and recent advancements in miniaturized electronics, power generation, and beam
aiming may finally have put pulse, electromagnetic radiation, and beam weapons on the cusp of
practicality, according to some experts.
Sixth, IT has brought changes in several issues of military art. According to one analyst, some of
the most significant are 1) an increase in the tempo of operations, which limits time for planning
and decision making, requiring organizational, doctrinal, force structure, and technological
changes, and adaptations to both regular and irregular operations to compel or enforce norms of
behavior; 2) the extended use of robotic reconnaissance mechanisms (such as UAVs, Joint
Surveillance, Targeting and Radar Systems - JSTARS) and precision munitions, which allow
tanks and artillery to discard range and other targeting essentials (terrain, multiple shots for
bracketing, and so forth) and makes battlefield awareness and management easier; 3) increased
rates of movement with precision, allowing units to outpace an adversary's ability to react; 4) use
of sensors on vehicles, which allows reporting to be instantaneous, and provides situational
updates at the flick of a switch at higher headquarters; and 5) the ability of small units to employ
the former combat power of a division, affecting the balance between combat power and
manpower, the nature of command and control, and distinctions of strategic and tactical levels of
Another analyst has noted that complexity, a spontaneous consequence of imposing regulation
and control on a chaotic state, is the defining characteristic of modem military organizations and
operations, and is controlled by the cohesion and integrating ability of information. Military art is
affected in that the military uses information to describe itself and an adversary, to organize
itself, to offer visual or situational awareness through extracting, processing, and distribution of
data, to execute a mosaic of deep and protracted operations (operational art), and to offer the
grammar, language, syntax, and logic of complex systems, making them not only understandable
but showing their evolutionary qualities. Armies are complex systems that flow in a sea of
information, and only the use of cybershock can stop the flow via operations security, deception,
psychological operations, electronic warfare, reconnaissance and counter reconnaissance, and
tempo and surprise.22 IT can also be useful to train the force via computer simulations and virtual
reality scenarios. Also, IT can be used in training the force en route to a crisis by offering
computer-generated problems in accordance with the situation on the ground.
Seventh, centers of gravity in warfare have changed. Past strategies involved the concentration of
one's forces at a particular time and place to win a decisive battle. Information centers of gravity
focus on weaknesses in information infrastructures and equipment. IT's disabling capabilities
prohibit forces from massing, planes from finding targets in a quick and accurate manner,
strategies from developing, and decisive points from being located, calculated and attacked.
These operations could occur in peacetime as well as wartime, according to some. The main
point to recognize is that the greatest challenge for the policy maker will be to manage a national
intelligence architecture, which can rapidly identify the information center of gravity, prepare the
information battlefield, and deliver the appropriate (non-lethal) information munitions to carry
Finally, IT can affect the weakest link on the battlefield: the individual soldier's mind. The mind
is not protected by a firewall as is the computer, and the ultimate operator of equipment, the
soldier/leader, is offered little protection in the IT environment. There are two forms of
protection required: one from physical attacks (electromagnetic pulses, acoustic weapons, voice
synthesis, and so forth) and one from attacks on the perception capabilities of the mind. This is
especially true due to the quick pace of development in the production of holograms. These can
be used to make an army look larger than it is, or to make life-sized tank and soldier holograms
appear to move and thereby confuse or intimidate soldiers. Hologram technology "uses a laser to
illuminate an object and write its image into a photo-refractive crystal, while another laser
projects that image into a liquid scattering material."24 Holograms are also being considered for
their value in propaganda productions, such as morphing images of political leaders. Soldiers
require training to recognize misleading information produced from holograms, voice synthesis
or other psychological tricks.
Other reports indicate that the computer-operator interface will be a crucial area requiring
attention. Progress in neuro-muscular control, mind control and connectivity developments
suggest additional areas of focus. The point to underscore is that the mind is vulnerable and,
therefore, it is necessary to devote greater attention to the potential use of non-lethal or other
MANAGING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
In September 1997, Russia's Security Council discussed the draft version of the country's
information security policy. It consisted of five parts: general principles (legal basis and role of
information in society); threats to the Russian Federation's information security (to the country's
information infrastructure and information resources, especially technical and constitutional
ones); methods of ensuring Russia's information security (legal, organizational, economic);
government policy foundations for ensuring information security (openness, ownership, legal
equality); and the organizational structure and principles for designing the system (an aggregate
of federal government agencies and organizations to coordinate activities) to ensure the country's
information security (strategy, evaluations, coordination, certification, licensing, and
implementing a unified technical policy). This policy is the strongest element of Russia's
response to its concerns over the use of IT by foreign countries.25
To combat information threats to Russia, primary responsibility lies in the hands of the Federal
Agency for Government Communications and Information (FAPSI). This agency combats
hackers, foreign special services, and domestic criminals who aim to gain unsanctioned access to
information and to disable electronic management.26 FAPSI's deputy director, Colonel-General
Vladimir Markomenko, is the only official voice to define Russian IW to date.27 His definition
suggests that IW is the use of IT against the state in the form of special electronic and
communication devices, hardware and software attacks, and other technical means.
The Russian armed forces are working on combining IT with older psychological concepts such
as reflexive control (a means or method used to convey specially prepared information to a
person, organization or country to influence the adoption of a predetermined decision desired by
the initiator of the action). Some Russian analysts believe that a combination of information
warfare and reflexive control offers a greater danger than the direct use of military power:
The most dangerous manifestation of the tendency to rely on military power relates not so
much to the direct use of the means of armed combat as to the possible results of the use
of reflexive control by the opposing side via developments in the theory and practice of
The Russian military is proceeding to develop IT even in the current military and economic
crisis. Some of the effort involves skipping over several generations of weapons. Russian
military officers write about using IT to develop virtual realities and synthetic environments in
military affairs. Virtual reality to one Russian officer is a complex set of artificial images of an
environment (situations) that take place in a real time or close to real time scale, replicating
processes that are created in the human mind by software and hardware means.29 Current uses for
virtual reality training include creating systems to synthesize routine, crisis and battle situations
at various levels; creating means to generate models (for preparing information for decision-makers) to help forecast political and military -political situations in regions and different
countries; developing forms and methods of conducting the armed struggle; creating systems to
train officers individually or in groups; and creating means of psychological influence for
individuals and the mass consciousness of people.30 It is believed that from the use of virtual
reality systems, one will look at a battlefield from a bird's eye view and from the enemy side,
providing an opportunity for preparing and running operations repeatedly in selected ways. Also,
one can test weapon systems through virtual reality means before acquiring them. Virtual reality
will also be used by the military leadership to improve doctrine and test personnel and equipment
loss-free under varying climatic conditions, times of day, and levels of readiness.31
Russia's computer research and development process, which continues unabated, has produced
some unexpected results unique to the Russian experience. One result is the neuron computer
which, according to one expert, is expected to replace the pentium chip for speed and
effectiveness in Russia. They are reportedly 1000 times faster than traditional computers.
Military uses include the development of state-of-the-art high precision weapons, optic devices
to detect missiles, and use in anti-ballistic missile (ABM) programs and dual technologies. In
financial markets, the computers could make highly accurate forecasts (reported 90 per cent
accuracy) of currency and futures rates, stocks and other securities.32
In other fields, the government's science and technology committee approved the following
information-related fields as priority directions in the area of critical federal-level technologies:
- multi processor parallel-structure computers
- computer systems based on neuronet computers, transputers, and optical computers
- speech, text, and image recognition and synthesis systems
- artificial intelligence and virtual reality systems
- information and telecommunication systems
- mathematical modeling systems
- microsystem technology and mircosensors
- superlarge integrated circuits and nanoelectronics
- optical and acoustic electronics
- cryoelectronics production technologies
- laser technologies
- precision and mechatronic technologies
- robotic systems and micromachines
- electronic-ion-plasma technologies
- intellectual systems for automated design and control33
President Clinton signed Presidential Decision Directive 39 (late 1995) and Executive Order
13010 (15 July 1996) to establish a President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection.
The commission was to develop a national policy and implementation strategy to protect critical
infrastructures from cyber or physical threats. The commission received the report of the Defense
Science Board for its consideration as well. By November 1997, the commission had written its
report, distributed it, and disbanded. How the President will use the report remains to be seen.
Critical infrastructures identified were: telecommunications, electrical power systems, gas and oil
storage and transportation, banking and finance, transportation, water supply systems, emergency
services, and continuity of government services.
High technology responsibility for protecting critical infrastructures and combating information
threats to US society lies with the US National Security Agency (NSA), especially the relay of
indications and warnings information to command authorities. NSA warns decisionmakers of
potential threats. This responsibility differs from the period of the Cold War when one
department focused signals intelligence (SIGINT) specifically on the former Soviet Union, and
another focused on Asia. These missions are gone, and the new missions of these two
departments are to combat criminals involved 1) in transnational issues, irrespective of
geography, and 2) in attacks on the commercial sector's information resources. A new threat
matrix uses IT as one of its principal combatants and operators. NSA is also responsible for
identifying and combating threats to and vulnerabilities of technologies and infrastructures (such
as telecommunications). The focus for NSA has slipped to the infrastructure of an adversarial
force's operating capability instead of planes, tanks, and ships. Regarding the protection of
commercial projects, NSA is to provide technical expertise on encryption standards for
commercial firms and on systems for recovering data in secure environments.34 Many of NSA's
responsibilities correspond with those of FAPSI, noted above, to include the close relationship
with IW. In 1996, John Deutsch, then director of the Central Intelligence Agency, announced his
intention to create a cyber warfare center at NSA.
The US armed forces' major contribution to its information security was a report issued in 1996
by the Defense Science Task Board entitled the Defense Science Board Task Force on
Information Warfare (IW-D). The board made 13 recommendations to the Chairman of the
Defense Science Board.35 The board members did not prioritize the key recommendations,
deciding that all should be implemented immediately. The board recommended establishing a
center to provide strategic indications and warning, current intelligence, and threat assessments.
They also recommended developing a process and metrics for assessing infrastructure
The US armed forces' focus on the development of a high-technology fighting force, known as
Force XXI for the army and listed under varying names for the other services. Army testing at
the National Training Center in the Spring of 1997 yielded significant results that appear to have
placed the development and fielding of IT systems ahead of schedule. The only criticism to direct
against the army's approach is that it has somewhat neglected the psychological impact of IT on
The US military, like Russia, is also pursuing the use of virtual reality mechanisms to create
artificial battlefields and work on potential problems in advance. Known as the Joint Training
Confederation (JTC), 12 interacting systems (such as the Air Warfare Simulation [AWSIM]; the
Corps Battle Simulation [(CBS]; and the Navy's Research, Evaluation and System Analysis
Simulation [RESAJ) were developed to train military forces of the US all over the world.
US research and development in the field of IT is focused on many items. Dr. Alvin H. Bernstein
of the National Defense University divided technologies into pop-up (those that can distinguish
threatening objects from decoys and then hide in their own signature) and fire-ant (the fiercely
stinging, omnivorous side of technology). He listed "pop-up" as signatures, platforms, stealth,
drones, loitering missiles, autonomous land crawlers, and submersibles, and "fire-ant" as sensors,
emitters microbots, mini-projectiles, miniaturization, and integrated software.36 Thus, the
implication is that core research and development strategies must focus on electronics,
nanotechnologies, energy, software that emphasizes integration, and manufacturing technology
to produce counter-stealth technology, automatic target recognition capabilities, robotics, non-lethal weapons, and rapid power projection capabilities.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR US-RUSSIAN COOPERATION IN
The Russian Draft Doctrine on Information Security indicated great interest in developing
cooperation with other nations in the area of information security and technology. The doctrine
... international cooperation on questions of ensuring information security is an
indispensable component of the political, military, economic, cultural, and other forms of
interaction of countries participating in the world community. Such cooperation should
promote an increase in the information security of all members of the world community,
including the Russian Federation.37
While it is unknown if the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection suggests
cooperation or not, the US Defense Science Board report did not mention it. Cooperation is
significant on a non-governmental level, however. For example, when Bill Gates, founder and
President of Microsoft, visited Moscow in 1997, he discussed several cooperative ventures with
his Russian hosts. His agenda included intellectual property rights and copyrights, and the use of
Microsoft products in the Russian space agency, Central Bank, and various industrial companies.
In an agreement with LUKOIL, a Russian oil conglomerate, it was decided to sign a general
agreement defining a strategy for mutual cooperation.38
Governmental cooperation between the US and Russia in IT has moved more slowly. While
there have been limited meetings at the highest levels to discuss some of these problems, there
has been a heavy reluctance by the Pentagon and others to provide momentum to the process.
Perhaps the Pentagon is in no hurry to share IW information because they are uncertain of
tomorrow's geo-strategic arrangement. The fall of the USSR appeared to happen overnight, after
all. On the other hand, any risk of giving away valuable information nearly has dissipated due to
the vast amount of IW-related information available to the public. To date, well over 500 articles
have been written by US analysts and scientists about US information systems and operations.
Russians have been escorted to demonstrations of US advanced information-based and -supported artillery systems and even been briefed on information operations plans for a US
While a variety of options exist, limited discussions do deserve to be explored in more detail,
perhaps in a conference setting. Nuclear age discussions that proved so beneficial underscore the
necessity of changing this reluctance. If computer viruses attack critical systems in the future,
and appear to come from a state, when in reality an individual has sent the virus, will Russia and
America launch nuclear weapons, as one Russian indicated their side would, because the sides
didn't talk to one another? Without dialogue, the potential for improving global security is
undermined. By failing to work together in the management of IT, misunderstanding and fear are
Opportunities now exist for dialogue, but such operations may become even more limited over
time if suspicion builds. Russia's willingness to discuss these issues is tied to its domestic and
economic situation. There are many conservatives in Russia, as in the US government, who still
see a US footprint (and vice versa, Russian) on every issue under discussion today. Some believe
that a massive information operation has already been conducted against Russia. On the other
hand, there currently are scores of well-informed Russian leaders, academicians and analysts
who do not see an American conspiracy everywhere they look, want to exchange opinions, and
can offer a tremendous representative sampling of expertise on all areas of information
technology and theory.
Yet another reason for dialogue is the number of ties that Russia maintains with so-called rogue
states (Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and so forth). Russia may be best positioned to help control
non-state sponsored sources of information terrorism. This could only help America, which is the
number one enemy of most of these states. On the other hand, some fear that Russia would share
US conversations on these topics with these states. Another fear is that rogue members of
Russian society (willing to sell secrets to the highest bidder) may be an even greater threat.
However, this may be a moot point if 90 per cent of this information is already available for
Neither side can afford to wait much longer. New technologies are continually appearing that
may make the future even more difficult to manage and unstable. The US is awaiting the arrival
of asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) systems, which will revolutionize the way soldiers
communicate. As one recent discussion concluded:
What will technology provide during the next century? Is it quantum computing? Is it
molecular or DNA computing? ... The key question is: what technologies, if any, will
complement and/or replace the predictable silicon technology.39
Quantum computing uses the principle of superconductivity to increase the speed of computing
and to reduce the heat that arises from millions of processing procedures (even small amounts of
heat affect chips where size is measured in fractions of a micron). One Russian scientist working
in America and sharing his discoveries in the field of quantum computing with his Russian
colleagues estimated that by the year 2010 it will be possible to pack 64 trillion transistors on a
chip instead of the 1995 figure of 64 million.40 Clearly, this spiral will continue unchecked. It
would only be prudent for both sides to establish a dialogue as soon as possible.
The use of IT has caused significant changes in the armed forces of both countries. General
William Hartzog, commanding general of the US Army Training and Doctrine Command
(TRADOC), reflecting on these changes, commented during the Task Force XXI Advanced
Warfighting Experiment exercises at the National Training Center that:
I don't think I've been involved in 34 years in anything even closely approaching this ... I
don't think we have ever had as large, complex or holistic a look at things. There are
lessons that we will pick out from this that we woulf have never seen in any other kind of
exercise or experiment...41
The armed forces of both Russia and the US have weighed carefully the impact of IT on their
operations, as the discussion above indicates. They are also monitoring the impact of IT on the
security interests of their respective states, and adjusting policy and organizational arrangements
accordingly. However, keeping pace with rapid advancements in IT will be a continuous and
One of the ways to bring about an understanding of IT's impact on the civilian and military
components of both countries, and at the same time lower the fears associated with technological
advancements, is to develop an agenda for cooperation. The discussion above suggests several
areas that require immediate attention.
First, both sides need to develop a common terminology in order to discuss with both precision
and understanding the meaning and impact of IT on military -pol iti cal affairs. This should be
the simplest phase for cooperation but, as peace operations have shown, it may be one of the
most difficult. It took over three years for the two countries to develop a set of definitions to
explain Russian and US concepts of peacekeeping, peace enforcement, and peace making.
Today, these definitions are continuing to undergo change and modification, and there is no
coordinating mechanism to update them. This only encourages misunderstanding. Without a
doubt, Russian and US policy makers need to come to a common understanding of IT and IW
terms. Otherwise, how will the sides be able to cooperate on, say, computer crime without
unwittingly violating a legal issue for the other side?
Second, there must be an agenda to institutionalize the legal norms for not just Russia and the US
but for all nations regarding IT and IW. What would constitute an information attack? What are
the cyberspace borders that a country can consider as violations of sovereignty? What is
considered to be IT theft in cyberspace? Are there IT developments that should be curbed or
limited, and included in an IT non-proliferation agreement? There are literally hundreds of such
questions to answer.
Third, an IT/information operations hot line should be established. The need for such a line was
evident a few years ago when a student in St. Petersburg broke into the computer data base of
Citicorps Bank and stole millions of dollars. As is well known, many such attacks go unreported
today because banks do not want their clientele to know that their system is not 100 per cent safe.
If this hacking occurs in the nuclear codes of either side, then the scale and consequence of the
problem increases substantially. An information hot line would allow immediate notification
between the two countries of a serious problem.
Fourth, discussions on the impact of IT on the military art of Russia and the US, especially in the
areas of greatest concern (for example, the Russian understanding of the boundaries of the initial
period of war), would be an invaluable undertaking. A good place to start work on this issue
would be private military-political discussions or even a conference at the highest levels. Both
sides could express their concerns and fears to sensitize one another to the impact of new IT
developments on their national security policies. Such cooperation can only help reduce the
likelihood of misunderstanding and can quickly move important concerns to the top of the
agenda. It will no longer be an excuse to admit if only I had known what my action meant to you.
Fifth, it is important to recognize that soon both sides will have the ability to use holograms and
other IT manifestations that will offer the opportunity to completely fool one another both on the
battlefield and through the airwaves, whether it be TV or radio, and the press. Both sides should
begin initial discussions on these issues before they are overtaken by rapidly changing
technological developments. A hacker simulating an incoming ICBM nuclear attack on the radar
screens of the military of either Russia or the United States is but one manifestation of this threat.
Finally, both Russia and the United States should have advisors sit together and discuss two
documents: the Russian Federation Draft Doctrine on Information Security and the President's
Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection. The sides could discuss areas of concern and
potential cooperation. Both nations should learn a great deal from such a process.
This chapter has focused on US-Russian bilateral relations. Certainly, US-Russian decisions
concerning IT will influence other nations and vice-versa. These suggestions for expanding US-Russian bilateral cooperation in IT could easily be extended to include other nations. This is not
only advisable, but necessary, as nations approach the interdependent security environment of the
1. Information technology (IT) is defined as all aspects of managing and processing information,
and is characterized by the domain and tools of its usage. Two major components of IT remain
hardware and software but IT's tasks, constantly being redefined, include processing, operating
systems, network operating systems, data communication standards, high-speed
communications, networking applications, the Internet, object-oriented technologies, and
database technologies. This definition is provided by The Center for Research in Electronic
Commerce (CREC, University of Texas at Austin (1998) (http://cism.bus.utexas.edu/ram/col
2. Some of the more important US works on information war include George Stein, "Information
Warfare," Airpower Journal (Spring 1995), pp. 3139; John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt,
"Cyberwar is Coming," Comparative Strategy, No. 12 (1993), pp. 141-65; and Martin C. Libicki,
What is Information Warfare? (Washington DC: Center for Advanced Concepts and
Technology, Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, 1995).
Important Russian works on information warfare include Vladimir S. Pirumov, "Several Aspects
of Information Warfare," paper presented at InfoWarCon 1996 entitled "Defining the European
Perspective" (23-24 May 1996), Brussels, Belgium; V. I. Tsymbal, "Concept of Information
Warfare," Academy of State Management, Moscow, Russia (14 September 1995); and A. A.
Prokhozhev and N. I. Turko, "The Basics of Information Warfare," report presented at the
conference entitled "Systems Analysis on the Threshold of the 21st Century: Theory and
Practice," Moscow, Russia (27-29 February 1996).
3. See Lawrence Freedman, "The First Two Generations of Nuclear Strategists," in Peter Paret,
ed., Makers of Modern Strategy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986), p. 762.
4. Unless, of course, the information strike is against a nuclear plant, causing a melt down and
greater damage than a nuclear blast.
5. "New Trends in Power Deterrence," Armeyskiy sbornik, No. 9 (September 1995), pp. 12-19 in
FBIS- UMA (17 January 1996), p. 11.
6. Ibid., p. 12.
7. I. Panarin, "Troyanskiy kon XXI veka" (Trojan Horse of the 21st century), Krasnaya zvesda (8
December 1995), p. 3.
8. Georgiy Smolyan, Vitaliy Tsygichko and Dmitriy Chereshkin, "A Weapon That May be More
Dangerous Than a Nuclear Weapon: The Realities of Information Warfare," Nezavisimoye
voyennoye obozreniye (Supplement to Nezavisimaya gazeta), No. 3 (18 November 1995), pp. 1-2
in FBIS-UMA (6 December 1995), pp. 31-35.
9. Aleksandr Pozdnyakov, interviewed by Vladimir Davydov, "Information Security", Granitsa
Rossii, No. 33 (September 1995), pp. 6-7 in FBIS-UMA (13 December 1995), pp. 41-44.
10. M. Boytsov, "Informatsionnaya voyna" (Information Warfare), Morskoy sbornik, No. 10
(1995), p. 70.
11. Pozdnyakov, "Information Security," p. 43. These viruses are Trojan horse, forced
quarantine, sensor, and overload, and are described in the article.
12. B.P. Pal'chun and R.M. Yusupov, "Obespecheniye bezopasnosti komp'yutorynoy infosfery"
(Providing Security in the Computer Infosphere), Vooruzheniye, politika, konversiya
(Armaments, Policy, Conversion), No. 3 (1993), p. 23.
13. See Timothy L. Thomas, "The Threat of Information Operations: A Russian Perspective," in
Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr. and Richard H. Shultz, Jr., eds., War in the Information Age
(Washington/London: Brassey's, 1997), pp. 69-73. For further discussion concerning these
military considerations (initial period of war, and so forth) see pp. 61-80.
14. Grigoriy S. Utkin, "Synthetic Environments and Virtual Reality: The Russian View," paper
presented at the seminar entitled "Military Applications of Synthetic Environments and Virtual
Reality" (16-18 September 1997), Stockholm, Sweden.
15. John M. Shalikashvili, National Military Strategy of the United States of America: Shape,
Respond, Prepare Now: A Military Strategy for a New Era (Washington DC: Government
Printing Office, 1997), p. 9.
16. Ibid., p. 17.
17. Tsymbal, "Concept of Information Warfare."
18. General Dennis J. Reimer, "The Army and the Cyberspace Crossroads," Defense Issues, Vol.
12, No. 33 (http://www.dtic.mil/defe...nk/pubs/ di97/dil233.html).
19. "Powerscene: An Overview," Cambridge Research Associates, Inc., McLean, Virginia
(November 1995). Also see Timothy L. Thomas, "Virtual Peacemaking: Conflict Prevention
Through the Use of Information Technology" (September 1997), paper under consideration for
publication in Parameters.
20. Douglas Pasternak, "Wonder Weapons," U.S. News and World Report (7 July 1997), pp. 38-46.
21. James K. Morningstar, "Technologies, Doctrine and Organization for the RMA," Joint Force
Quarterly (Spring 1997), pp. 37-43.
22. James Schneider, "Black Lights: Chaos, Complexity, and the Promise of Information
Warfare," Joint Force Quarterly (Spring 1997), pp. 2628.
23. Robert Steele, "Virtual Intelligence: Conflict Avoidance and Resolution through Information
Peacekeeping," distributed at conference entitled "Virtual Diplomacy," US Institute of Peace,
Washington DC (2 April 1997).
24. Andrew Gilligan, "Army goes to war with platoons of holograms," The Sunday Telegraph,
London (I I May 1997), p. 5.
25. Russian Federation Draft Doctrine on Information Security (13 August 1997) in FBIS-SOV
Q September 1997).
26. Aleksey Okhskiy, "FAPSI: Only Powerful Organizations are Capable of the Comprehensive
Protection of Information," Sevodnya (8 September 1995), p. 3 in FBIS-SOV (28 September
1995), p. 20.
27. Vladimir Markomenko, "Invisible, Drawn-Out War," Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye
(16-21 August 1997), p. 1. Markomenko lists the functions of Russian IW (electronic warfare,
electronic surveillance, hacker warfare and psychological warfare) and describes them in this
28. A. A. Prokhozhev and N. 1. Turko, "The Basics of Information Warfare," report at the
conference enitled "Systems Analysis on the Threshold of the 21st Century: Theory and
Practice," Moscow (February 1996), p. 251.
29. Utkin, "Synthetic Environments and Virtual Reality: The Russian View," p. 11.
31. Ibid., p. 12.
32. INTERFAX (14 February 1996) in FBIS-UMA (28 February 1996), p. 64.
33. Andrey Fonotov, "Science and Technology Policy," Rossiyskaya gazeta (8 August 1996), p.
6 in FBIS- UST (8 August 1996).
34. Barbara Starr, "U.S. Puzzle Palace Seeks New Clues to Combat Old Threats," Jane's Defense
Weekly (3 September 1997), pp. 35-36.
35. "Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Information Warfare-Defense, Office of
the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology," Washington DC (November
36. Alvin H. Bernstein, "Conflict and Technology: The Next Generation," National Defense
University, unpublished paper.
37. Russian Federation Draft Doctrine on Information Security.
38. Stanislav Leonidov and Denis Kirillov, "Microsoft Increases Pressure on Russian Market,"
Moskovskiye Finansovyye Izvestiya (14 October 1997), p. I in FBIS-SOV (9 January 1998).
39. Juris Hartmanis, "Roundtable: The Future of Computing and Telecommunications," Issues in
Science and Technology (Spring 1997), p. 72.
40. Vladimir Pokrovskiy, "A Russian Scientist is Making a Quantum Computer but No One
Knows in America or Here," Obshchaya gazeta (30 October-5 November 1997), No. 43, p. 14 in
FBIS-SOV (9 January 1998).
41. Dennis Steele, "AWE: Testing Soldiers and Equipment," Army (June 1997), p. 28.