A senior American general has admitted that the US has been launching cyber attacks against its opponents in Afghanistan, according to a report by AP.
Marine Lt. Gen. Richard P. Mills, who is now a deputy commandant with the Marine Corps and who was in charge of international forces in southwestern Afghanistan between 2010-11, admitted the attacks whilst speaking at a conference in Baltimore last week.
He said: “I can tell you that as a commander in Afghanistan in the year 2010, I was able to use my cyber operations against my adversary with great impact. I was able to get inside his nets, infect his command-and-control, and in fact defend myself against his almost constant incursions to get inside my wire, to affect my operations.”
General Mills' open admission of this up-to-now highly secret part of US military strategy is significant. It is likely that the operations he was referring to came under the auspices of Operation Earnest Voice, the Army's strategic communication and information operation aimed at disrupting online jihadi activity, as reported by this blog in March last year.
The General's decision to speak out is likely to be criticised in some quarters, where forewarning the enemy is sometimes perceived as forearming them. The fact that the Taliban, according to the General's own comments, are deeply engaged in offensive cyberwarfare is a remarkable admission and one that needs further investigation.