Defense Horizons: Strategic Fragility: Infrastructure Protection and National Security in the Information Age   [open pdf - 144KB]

This journal article from Defense Horizons a publication of the Center for Technology and National Security Policy, National Defense University discusses the vulnerability issues surrounding the interconnected critical infrastructures that span the globe. "Modern societies have reached unprecedented levels of prosperity, yet they remain vulnerable to a wide range of possible disruptions. One significant reason for this growing vulnerability is the developed world's reliance on an array of interlinked, interdependent critical infrastructures that span nations and even continents. The advent of these infrastructures over the past few decades has resulted in a tradeoff: the United States has gained greater productivity and prosperity at the risk of greater exposure to widespread systemic collapse. The trends that have led to this growing strategic fragility show no sign of slowing. As a result, the United States faces a new and different kind of threat to national security. This paper explores the factors that are creating the current situation. It examines the implications of strategic fragility for national security and the range of threats that could exploit this condition. Finally, it describes a variety of response strategies that could help address this issue. The challenges associated with strategic fragility are complex and not easily resolved. However, it is evident that policymakers will need to make difficult choices soon; delaying important decisions is itself a choice, and one that could produce disastrous results."

Report Number:
Defense Horizons No. 59
2008 National Defense University. Center for Technology and National Security Policy.
Retrieved From:
National Defense University: http://www.ndu.edu/
Media Type:
Defense Horizons (Janurary 2008)
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