Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno last week expressed concerns about how the ease of Internet communications sometimes undermine military operations, saying it is “absolutely essential” the issue gets properly addressed.
Odierno is one of several military leader to voice worries about how online communications could potentially undermine security efforts. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of Multinational Force Iraq before becoming commander of U.S. Central Command in October 2008, communicated similar apprehensions during budget hearings on Capitol Hill earlier this year.
What Odierno and others have raised concerns about is al Qaida and other terrorist groups’ recruiting and PR efforts on the Internet. Although the majority of al Qaida leaders have been killed or captured in the past 90 days, militant websites do not reflect that, Odierno said.
“What they’re telling people on their website is completely different than what is happening on the ground,” the general said.
Odierno endorsed the new Cyber Command to work on such Internet issues, and mentioned how the U.S. military has been the target of numerous email scams, including his own Facebook site that was used in schemes to extort money.