The US Navy has stopped publicizing its flag officer assignments since October, 2018 under pretext of preventing them from becoming targets of cyber-attacks launched by hackers from China and other countries.
However, as report on March 17 reveals, experts believe that this minor change reflects the decline in confidence of the US Navy, with their open and transparent policies also beginning to shrink.
Admiral John Richardson, Chief of US Naval Operations, said recently that the US Navy would do anything to guarantee the safety of its military officers’ personal information.
Since the beginning of the 2019 fiscal year, the US Navy has chosen not to publicize the new nominations of 57 officers. US Navy Officer Joshua J. VerGow said that the move reflects the "significant shift" in the cybersecurity culture of the Pentagon, adding that other military departments will follow suit.
On March 17, a professional who has been dealing with the US military for a long time said that in the past, the US had an overwhelming advantage in terms of military strength over other countries, which made it very willing to show openness and transparency to the outside world and generate deterrence.
Now, the US is facing the “aggressive” development momentum of China and Russia and it has realized that its military superiority is weakening. This change has led to the decline in confidence and openness of the US armed forces.
Zhang Junshe, a senior research fellow at the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Naval Military Studies Research Institute, also believes that the practice of the US Navy is contrary to the open and transparent concept that has long been advocated by the US military.
It is also contrary to the US advocation of requiring other militaries, including the Chinese military, to be open and transparent. The US military has clearly embarked on a closed path. Their unwarranted excuse of "Chinese cyber-attacks" is a reflection of their lack of confidence. "This may also indicate that the US is taking a similar approach to conduct cyber-attacks on other countries," said Zhang.
Yang Yujun, Dean of the Academy of Media and Public Affairs at the Communication University of China, said on March 17 that the move by the US Navy proves indirectly that the US has the capability and motivation to conduct and maybe even has carried out such cyber-attacks and surveillance against the government, military, and key personnel of other countries, including its allies. The countries concerned need to improve their prevention capabilities, said Yang.
Furthermore, Yang said, "This shows that the US also recognizes a decline in its military transparency. It proves what China has consistently been advocating, that is, military transparency does not have a unified international standard, thus countries should determine appropriate transparency according to their own national situations and national needs."
Disclaimer: The author of this article is Guo Yuandan with the Global Times. The article is translated from Chinese into English by the China Military Online. The information, ideas or opinions appearing in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn. Chinamil.com.cn does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.