What’s the lesson here?
National security, international diplomacy and world politics depend on intelligence, and the bodyguard of intelligence is security. It must never be forsaken for short-term, partisan political gain.
Admissions from “the highest levels” of the U.S. government that it was party to a cyber attack on Iran risks a retaliation that could take many forms, compelling further escalation. Without the glare of publicity trumpeting the U.S. role, Iranian leaders would be left to fume and stew in their suspicions, knowing the United States could find ways to reach out and touch them. That works much better than an amateurish shout out for partisan political gain.
Dr. Earl Tilford is a military historian and fellow for the Middle East & terrorism with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. He currently lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where he is writing a history of the University of Alabama in the 1960s. A retired Air Force intelligence officer, Dr. Tilford earned his PhD in American and European military history at George Washington University. From 1993 to 2001, he served as Director of Research at the U.S. Army’s Strategic Studies Institute. In 2001, he left Government service for a professorship at Grove City College, where he taught courses in military history, national security, and international and domestic terrorism and counter-terrorism.