U.S. Debated Cyberwarfare Against Libya

10/17/2011 11:10 pm ET | Updated Dec 17, 2011
  • ERIC SCHMITT and THOM SHANKER The New York Times

Just before the American-led strikes against Libya in March, the Obama administration intensely debated whether to open the mission with a new kind of warfare: a cyberoffensive to disrupt and even disable the Qaddafi government’s air-defense system, which threatened allied warplanes.

While the exact techniques under consideration remain classified, the goal would have been to break through the firewalls of the Libyan government’s computer networks to sever military communications links and prevent the early-warning radars from gathering information and relaying it to missile batteries aiming at NATO warplanes.

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