Virtually without question, a key battlefield in the next major war will be cyberspace. Much of what modern society relies on, from financial transactions to electricity grids, is controlled by computers.
A comprehensive attack via the Internet could create havoc unimaginable to most people.
The first skirmish in the Internet war of tomorrow may be under way right now.
Many Americans are furious about the WikiLeaks website, through which classified information about U.S. military and diplomatic activities is being disseminated. But WikiLeaks has many supporters, too - and they have mounted denial-of-service attacks aimed at some of the companies, including Visa and Mastercard, that have stopped cooperating with WikiLeaks. That was followed swiftly by a cyberspace counterattack that disabled some of the pro-WikiLeaks hackers' computer servers.
Very little has been reported about U.S. government involvement.
Obviously, U.S. officials should be working to curb WikiLeaks' ability to reveal information that could harm our troops and our nation's diplomatic interests.
It also should be helping protect U.S. companies targeted by pro-WikiLeaks hackers.
We hope lack of information about Washington's part in the cyberspace skirmish is because officials want to keep our capabilities secret - not because we lack such defenses.