Skip to Content


Britain does not exclude preventive nuclear attack in latest cyber defence review

A "kinetic" response, across the board, even nuclear, underpins the new British national strategy that will shape the operational guidelines for the UK, post-Brexit. It does not exclude any scenario should the country be hit by a hostile attack from a foreign power and is aimed at partially or totally “blinding” the protection capabilities of infrastructures or systems that are critical for the safety of the population and economic activity.

Published: April 6, 2021, 10:51 am

    Read more

    The government of Boris Johnson, in line with the new priorities that the US and structures such as NATO have highlighted, considers cyber competition to be central as a determinant of the strategic equilibrium of the coming decades and in the document “Global Britain in a competitive age” it mentions the cyber issue 148 times, always in relation to the need to assume a more accentuated operational posture towards a dual approach, which integrates the military and civil spheres in the defence of the country’s digital assets.

    London defines itself as a “responsible power” in the cyber field, and claims to have the third largest operational capability in the world in terms of defence, resilience and coordination of intelligence.

    This vision was confirmed in 2019 in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera by the current Italian Minister for Innovation in the Draghi government, Vittorio Colao, according to whom the United Kingdom is at the forefront of Europe and the United States on the evaluation of the risks related to cybersecurity. The strengthening of the National Cyber ​​Force, from this point of view, is considered central to allowing any threats to be disrupted with direct or preventive actions. Thus, London is ready for anything should an attack pierce its cyber security perimeter.

    Giuseppe Gagliano, one of the leading Italian scholars of asymmetric wars, highlighted in Notizie Geopolitiche, that London has not ruled out in the most recent defence review, the possibility of a nuclear response to “computer operations that cause or present an imminent threat of death and destruction on scale equivalent to an armed attack” in reference to actions comparable to “a destructive attack against the industrial control systems of one or more of the critical sectors, such as water, energy, health or finance” capable of causing paralysis to the country’s system.

    For some time already, cyber issues have been included in the national security perimeters of all the major powers, and the doctrines of cyberwarfare are becoming more kinetic, dynamic and extensive. The main nature of problems linked to cyberwar however, is the blurred boundary between defensive operations and offensive actions since it includes all forms of attack and defence in cyberspace, representing an extension of electronic warfare in its aspects both offensive and defensive (countermeasures, wiretapping, etc.) and defensive (countermeasures, encryption, firewalls or barriers to prevent access to networks and databases) and often closely coordinated with the consequent political aims  – strategic and economic.

    The United Kingdom has now raised the bar and inserted cyber notions into areas where an offensive is to be considered comparable to a large-scale frontal attack, not excluding maximum retaliation. This declaration certainly has a deterrent value (and in the phase of strengthening the nuclear arsenal it is not surprising) but it also underlines the geostrategic value of cyber warfare.

    The cyber domino, for its intrinsic vulnerability, for its pervasiveness, for the impunity it grants, is exposed to threats coming from different directions and potentially destructive asymmetrical moves. Furthermore, in times of a pandemic, the dependence of the main critical infrastructure of the economic and financial fabric on digitized information systems, the expansion of smart offices and the considerable exposure of citizens’ data, has imposed reflection in all the most advanced nations on the most optimal nature of protection. Since the Stuxnet case, the virus launched by the US and Israel against Iran in 2010, all military decision-makers have been focusing on this complicated field of competition.

    London has deployed its cyber force to the Five Eyes, the spy block formed by the leading countries of the Anglosphere (United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) and the USA, to defend itself on the cyber front. But it is ready to act autonomously if a rival state attempts an offensive.

    The reference to the final weapon, the atomic bomb, clearly signals the importance of the matter. At the same time, it highlights the need for an in-depth reflection on the rules of engagement in the cyber field since there is an obligation to distinguish between sovereign states, criminal groups and hackers operating with false-flag intentions which makes it an extremely complex problem to address.

    Needless to say, the big danger is accurate attribution of attacks, with most cyber experts suggesting that it is impossible to be certain about where online attackers are based or who they really work for.

    The 2021 British Defence Report states that the nation will not use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear state that is party to the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). But then it adds that “we reserve the right to review this guarantee if the future threat of weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical and biological capabilities, or emerging technologies that could have a comparable impact, make it necessary”.

    In another passage, the report clarifies that “cyber” is considered an “emerging technology”. This evidently means that the UK will consider a nuclear response to a major cyber attack.

    In 2018 Air Marshall Phil Collins, Chief of Defence Intelligence, said the UK’s position should be to seek a rapid but controlled exploitation of vulnerabilities and the proactive denial of opportunities. Around the same time, UK Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC MP had stated that the UK believed it was clear that cyber operations would give Britain an intrinsic right to act in self-defence, as recognized in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations. These two statements made it clear already that the UK believes it has the right to kinetically respond to cyberattacks, even if the response is preventive.

    The new ability of the National Cyber ​​Force (NCF) brings together the personnel of GCHQ and MOD, as well as the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, for the first time under a single unified command.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.


    Scientific miracle: German MPs stay immune against Covid longer than ordinary citizens

    BerlinThe Coronavirus seems to be the world's first political virus with a fine sense of privilege. This is evident, for instance, in the fact that German ministers like Karl Lauterbach appear to be less contagious than his subordinates.

    Klaus Schwab welcomes European chip law to advance ‘physical brain for digitization’

    BrusselsThe EU will unveil proposals early next month for new laws to boost its home-grown chip production, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen announced in an online speech to the virtual edition of the World Economic Forum. The law is actually a cover for a clique of corrupt globalists to take over total control.

    Perpetrators of Covid-19 scam face ICC charges

    The HagueThe jig is up: Excluding people from public life who insist on their right to bodily autonomy in rejecting an experimental injection (previously a much-touted right) is medical coercion and blackmail – a complete violation of the most basic human rights. Seven plaintiffs have now filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the perpetrators. The charges against them are very serious.

    Above the law: Austrian politicians not subject their own Corona dictates

    ViennaIt has become quite grotesque to see how little their dictatorial measures apply to them: The Austrian ruling class do not have to suffer the consequences of their Corona policies. This was the case when the President of the National Council, Wolfgang Sobotka (ÖVP), flew to a funeral in Italy without a PCR test. In fact, the parliamentary administration had asked the police at Linz Airport not to carry out any Corona checks on Sobotka.

    Bombshell: Extensive Corona data manipulation revealed in Austria

    ViennaAn extensive evaluation of data suggests a systematic exaggeration of the number of people affected by Covid-19. The incidence values ​​used to justify the lockdowns could therefore have been fictitious and a complaint to this effect was filed against the Austrian government.

    France shuns evidence of massive vaccine failure

    ParisFrance's vaccine passport will come into force on Monday, announced Prime Minister Jean Castex. The unvaccinated will be banned from most public venues. The French government is doubling down on a crumbling global narrative of "safe and effective" vaccines.

    The appeal of Luc Montagnier: ‘Let’s stop mass vaccination immediately’

    MilanIt was perhaps the most important Saturday of demonstrations since the protests began throughout Europe. During a huge event organized by the political opposition in Italy, the squares in Rome and Milan were filled to maximum capacity.

    German secret service brand Corona critics ‘enemies of the state’

    BerlinAccording to the President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which is the domestic spy agency, demonstrators in the Corona protests can no longer be clearly assigned to right-wing or left-wing extremism since they all "fundamentally reject the democratic state". The pandemic is only an excuse for rising up against the state, it claimed.

    Spain’s secret service alleged to have carried out Barcelona terror attacks

    MadridThe terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils in August 2017 were planned and executed by the country’s secret service, a former senior officer in Spain’s National Police Corps maintain.

    Life insurer refuses to cover vaccine death

    ParisAn explosive case is currently being hotly debated on social media: In France, a rich, older entrepreneur from Paris is said to have died as a result of a Corona injection. Previously, he had taken out multi-million dollar life insurance policies for the benefit of his children and grandchildren, according to a media report.

    Go to archive