But no action. Not even a casual word dropped in the United Nations Security Council or summoning the American ambassador to Moscow for an explanation. That might appear to be bad form. Mauvais ton. A breach of social etiquette. Politically inexpedient.
RT cites U.S. government officials telling the New York Times: “The first major move is expected over the next three weeks with a series of clandestine actions across Russian networks that are intended to be evident to President Vladimir Putin and his intelligence services and military but not to the wider world.”
For the past eleven years, since the activation of the Pentagon’s U. S. Cyber Command, Washington has identified cyberspace as its fifth battlespace.
Cyber attacks are then by definition acts of war. Leading U. S. officials have even called for the activation of NATO’s Article 5 collective war clause in reaction to reported cyber attacks.
Yesterday Russian state news media reported concern over American plans to bloody the noses of “President Vladimir Putin and his intelligence services and military”; RT today ran a story with the headline Kremlin ‘alarmed’ by reports US considering cyberattack against Russia, as official government websites suddenly taken offline, though the main body of the article simply quotes Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov essentially sighing and expressing concern. (The feature begins with Russian officials have demanded Washington categorically rule out acts of cyberterrorism against the country. Demand? Or is that request? Humbly beseech? Would be highly pleased…if it’s not too much trouble, that is.)
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines concern as:
a: to relate to: be about
b: to bear on
2: to have an influence on
to be the business or affair of
3: to be a care, trouble, or distress to
4: engage, occupy
One would be hard-pressed to imagine, for example, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt deeming himself concerned over the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor or President George W. Bush casually remarking that the attacks in New York City and against the Pentagon in 2001 were of concern to him. Concern that could range from mild to moderate to downright nonplussed.
But, many political pundits will intimate, never underestimate the effect of a pose of solemn concentration denoting concern. A significant wrinkling of the brow. An unblinking gaze as though pondering deeply over a troubling thought.