Most Americans don't realize it, but the US is actually at war with Iran. It's just that many don't understand how war can be defined by five domains: air, land, sea, space, and cyber.
So when we read an exclusive Reuters report Wednesday morning about the US launching a secret cyberattack on Iran after the Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities, it makes us wonder -- just how close is an actual shooting war, and in what domain will the battle spillover to next?
Reuters spoke with several US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the cyberattacks were launched in late Sept., several weeks after Iran attacked Saudi Aramco oil facilities.
As far as what the officials said, the strike affected physical hardware. They also said it was aimed at Tehran's ability to spread "propaganda." As to what that means, the officials weren't specific.
The strike also comes after Iran shot down a US Global Hawk surveillance drone on June 20, 2019, with a surface-to-air missile over the Strait of Hormuz. And before that, Iran allegedly attacked several oil tankers with cruise missiles in the same region.
There's new evidence that the Pentagon is preparing for the next domain of warfare with Iran.
A new wave of US troops has been deployed to Saudi Arabia to help defend the country if conflict breaks out.
James Lewis, a cyber expert with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said cyberwar if often used by militaries to conduct secret attacks on enemies without killing civilians.
"You can do damage without killing people or blowing things up; it adds an option to the toolkit that we didn't have before and our willingness to use it is important," Lewis told Reuters.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have never been higher, considering the events that have taken place in the Strait of Hormuz over the last several months and last month's Saudi Aramco attack.
And while the global economy implodes with monetary policy less effective than ever before, and there are even cries from Europe to start fiscal stimulus, the last resort, which, at the moment, is considered to be fiscal stimulus, could be in the form of war to pull the world out of a deflationary trap. All eyes on Iran.