Is Active Defense a use of force?

I keep hearing this term Active Defense.  Its catchy, and it implies a level of activity associated with defense.  But what is it, and is it a use of force?

Brandon and I discussed this, and he pointed out that he believed active defense could be distinguished from passive defense, and that it would fall somewhere in the Deceive or Disarm spectra of the use of force continuum.  I can’t argue that, though I believe that the active versus passive description really is a red herring.

It occurs to me that all active defense is a use of force.  Remember the law enforcement use of force continuum, from an officer’s presence to lethal force, it is all a use of force.  The use of force is implicit in the entire spectrum. When an officer arrives on the scene, his presence, including the badge that he wear is a tangible warning against the negative behavior that he defends against, and an implicit threat against an escalation if compliance with the law is not achieved.  When the officer issues a command he is using force to actively defend against a further escalation of , as there is an expectation of immediate compliance with the lawful order to comply with the law.  If there is active resistance to the expectation of compliance, the law enforcement officer may choose to defend himself and the public through the use of a soft force, or an open-hand technique to control the subject, or even a hard technique, like a closed fist if the officer feels threatened, or is at risk of personal injury or injury to the public.  Escalation to less than lethal means of force, such as pepper-spray or batons may be necessary if the actively hostile subject or group continues to threaten.  Finally lethal force may be used in the defense of the officer’s life, or the life of others.

At every point in the continuum, the officer is actively defending himself, the public, or the subject from an escalation of event.  Active network defense is directly analogous.  At each point int he network use of force continuum the defender is actively defending himself, and his company from an assailant.

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