This NYT piece seems pretty triumphant about the Stuxnet worm that the US and/or Israel deployed to slow Iran's nuclear power program. Given how well past victories have played out in the long term, I wonder. The US helped our friends stay in power in Iran in a coup long ago. Took a while to reap the whirlwind from that. Things got faster as arming the Muhajadeen against the Soviets started to kick back at the US as early as 1993 and certainly bigtime in 2001. Is Iran not capable of developing viruses/worms/other computer stuff that might attack American and Israel infrastructure? Our defense computers are constantly under attack from the Chinese, so perhaps we feel like anyone else is not going be as good or as serious.
Of course, others may attack us via the internet whether we launch worms or not. Perhaps this attack on Iran's nuclear program is actually a demonstration to anyone else that they ought not attack American computer networks because we actually have a pretty good offensive capability.
All I know is that we have opened up a Pandora's Box. It might have been opened by someone else, it might have already been open, its opening may have some positive consequences. I am just not sure all of this was thought through. Yea!!! We stopped Iran's program for a few years. But if it means that the lights go out in the western half of the US, um, not so good.
Mission accomplished? Let's not go there.
Update: Gary Sick, noted Iran expert, raises similar concerns here.