Gertz: U.S. Must Go on the 'Offensive' During the Information Age

January 14, 2017

Washington Free Beacon senior editor Bill Gertz discussed his new book, iWar: War and Peace in the Information Age, on Friday with Rush Limbaugh on his radio show.

"As somebody who knows about cyber wars and cyber security, how do you, Bill Gertz …? How do you process this stuff? How do you react to it?" Limbaugh asked. "Because you know whether some of this stuff is true, legitimate or not. So how do you deal with it yourself?"

Gertz responded by calling developments in the cyber domain an "amazing phenomenon" and discussed how cyber will dominate the current "information age" society, where people are under assault from all quarters.

"The Chinese, the Iranians, and I even put the liberal left in the kind of domestic information warfare," Gertz said. "It's a broad-scale assault, and the United States is ill-prepared to deal with it. We just don't have anything that can counteract these lies and disinformation the way we did during the Cold War."

Rush followed up by asking Gertz to clarify whether U.S. systems are not secure and whether the country has systems in place to identify future attacks.

"Yes. We’ve learned that the internet is basically a lawless environment, and every time we build defenses, the bad guys find ways around them," Gertz said. "The real solution is to go on the offensive, and under Obama, he has done absolutely nothing to counteract massive cyber attacks from the Chinese, now the Russians, and also the Iranians and North Koreans."

Limbaugh joked that he thought Obama told everyone he called Vladimir Putin in September and told him to "cut it out" with cyber breaches.

"Yeah. Uh, obviously the message did not get through to the Kremlin," Gertz said.

Later in the interview, Limbaugh asked Gertz about Donald Trump's incoming administration and whether it "properly understands" Putin and what the U.S. is up against.

Gertz said it is becoming clear that Trump is trying to reset relations, but that it would not work. However, he did praise Trump's secretary of defense nominee, retired Gen. James Mattis, for acknowledging that Russia is a major threat to the United States.  He also praised Trump's secretary of state nominee, Rex Tillerson, for taking a firm stance against the Chinese in the South China Sea.