Matthew T Grant


Tall Guy. Glasses.

Cyberwar and Asymmetrical Conflict

Very interesting video featuring Major TJ O’Connor, 10th Special Forces Group (A) S-6 (from 20:45 – 33:35). I watched it because The Jester said it would explain why he took downs WikiLeaks back in 2010.

Two specific statements made by Major O’Connor jumped out at me:

“It was absolutely enthralling and entertaining to watch as I would destroy [He’s talking about playing Command and Conquer. – MTG] General Schwarzkopf wannabes with one single soldier. They were totally upset that their strategy and tactics that they had trained were completely ineffective against my no strategy at all. That’s where we’re at in cyber today. It’s a completely asymmetric platform that favors the adversary; it favors the individual…. An asymmetric platform requires an asymmetric defense.” (24:21)


“Our individuals that are defending our networks have to be attackers first, otherwise, they have no understanding of how to defend this.” (26:35)

Major O’Connor cites the Jester as the type of individual necessary for this type of role and this type of conflict, but also points out that there is no clear career path for such an individual in the modern US military.

There are some obvious implications here (ie, “we need to be hackers”) and some more subtle (“we need to create an asymmetric military”), and some I’ll only think of later.

Category: Emerging Media, Enlightenment

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