Richard A. Clarke, National Security Expert and Author

23 SEPT 2019 New York

National security expert and author Richard A. Clarke discusses the pivotal role of cyber security at the intersection of America’s economic, foreign policy and national security interests.

On the threat of a cyber war: “Decision makers seem to think that cyber war is kind of okay. It's kind of playing at war. No one gets killed in cyberspace, and therefore that's okay… So, you begin a cyberattack thinking that it’s not kinetic, doesn't involve body bags. And what if it escalates?… The threshold for U.S. military action in cyber space is getting lower. And there's no reason to believe that someone who we attack or someone who attacks us that that war is going to stay in cyberspace…. We're going to make our retaliation decision based on the magnitude of the effect of the attack. And then we will judge how best to respond, including through what they call kinetic weapons, arms, missiles. I think it's very likely that a tit for tat conflict in cyberspace will get to the point where one of the other sides is going say, ‘oh, the heck with it. Let's just bomb them.’”

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