Glossary: Defense

Asymmetric warfare is warfare in which opposing groups or nations have unequal military resources, and the weaker opponent uses unconventional weapons and tactics, as terrorism, to exploit the vulnerabilities of the enemy.

Biowarfare is the use of disease-producing microorganisms, toxic biological products, or organic biocides to cause death or injury to humans, animals, or plants.

Cybersecurity is the body of technologies, processes and practices designed to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access.

Drones are pilotless aircraft operated by remote control.

ICBM is the acronym for intercontinental ballistic missile.  With a range of more than 5,000 kilometers, these missiles are typically designed for nuclear weapons delivery.

IED is the acronym for improvised explosive device.  Also known as a roadside bomb, is a homemade bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military action. It may be constructed of conventional military explosives, such as an artillery round, attached to a detonating mechanism.

Military Industrial Complex is a term referring to a country’s military establishment and the industries that produce arms and other military equipment. The term is often attributed to President Dwight David Eisenhower, who used the term in his farewell speech from the Oval Office in 1961.

Pivot to Asia is a policy of the Obama Administration calling for a redeployment of American priorities and military forces away from Europe and the Middle East to Asia.

Sequestration is a legal term referring to the action of taking possession of assets until a debt has been paid or other claims have been met. Sequestration with reference to the U.S. defense spending refers to the automatic budget cuts to the military as required by the 2011 Budget Control Act passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Stuxnet is a highly sophisticated computer virus designed to attack Siemens programmable logic controllers and Windows-based industrial software.  The most widely reported incident of Stuxnet being used was in a 2010 cyber attack on Iran’s nuclear generation program, which was damaged when the virus caused some of its centrifuges to run too fast.