The Obama administration has ruled out first strike cyber attacks \u2013 something neither our opponents nor allies have chosen to do. This delicacy around virtual war could be a real threat to the nation\u2019s security.\n\tThe policy was determined when the administration ruled out an internet attack on Libya in March, just before U.S.-led air strikes against the nation. According to The New York Times, \u201cthe goal would have been to break through the firewalls of the Libyan government\u2019s computer networks to sever military communications links and prevent the early-warning radars from gathering information and relaying it to missile batteries aiming at NATO warplanes.\u201d\n\tWhile there were plausible reasons for this \u2013 the military wasn\u2019t sure it could be ready fast enough \u2013 the policy that came out of it made far less sense. Political and military officials were both concerned this might set a precedent for other nations \u2013 most importantly Russia and China \u2013 to initiate such offensives on their own.\n\tWith the huge number of ways there are to hide the identity of a cyber attacker, why would Russia or China or any other nation be concerned about precedent? Not the U.K., that\u2019s for sure. Last week Foreign Minister William Hague made it clear the nation would strike first with cyber attacks: \u201cWe will defend ourselves in every way we can, not only to deflect but to prevent attacks that we know are taking place.\u201d\n\tBesides precedent may already have been set on this. That depends what exactly is the difference between cyber espionage and cyber war? For the sake of diplomacy all those online efforts by someone in China to get into U.S. government computer systems have been judged non-government sponsored. If you say espionage is stealing information and war is causing direct physical harm then we\u2019ve already done it (unofficially). What else do you call Stuxnet, the U.S.-Israeli virus that crippled Iran\u2019s nuclear capacity?\n\tThe most absurd point of debate by the administration was whether or not the president has the authority to proceed with such an attack without informing Congress. If the president can launch drone and cruise missile attacks without telling Congress you\u2019d think crippling radar systems would be a no-brainer.\n\tAs described by the Times, the administration passed on using non-lethal tools to protect U.S. service men and women going into combat. Given politicians\u2019 willingness to send our troops into battle it is absurd that we won\u2019t use the cyber capability to protect them.