June 29, 2015

"Last year the military's weapons tester found that every single major weapons system had cybersecurity vulnerabilities."

Washington Post If the United States and China ever got into a shooting war, it might look a lot like "Ghost Fleet," a new book co-written by Washington think-tankers. by Brian Fung

'Amazon says that the book has the United States, China, and Russia eye each other across a twenty-first century version of the Cold War, which suddenly heats up at sea, on land, in the air, in outer space, and in cyberspace. The fighting involves everything from stealthy robotic–drone strikes to old warships from the navy’s “ghost fleet.” Fighter pilots unleash a Pearl Harbor–style attack; American veterans become low-tech insurgents; teenage hackers battle in digital playgrounds; Silicon Valley billionaires mobilize for cyber-war; and a serial killer carries out her own vendetta. Ultimately, victory will depend on blending the lessons of the past with the weapons of the future.

'Set up as a novel told from the perspective of, alternately, a Navy captain, a U.S. Marine-turned-insurgent and an occupying Russian official, among others, "Ghost Fleet" explores how our military's reliance on digital technology is both an asset and a liability. Author P.W. Singer says that it is a novel that explores a scenario that is now fictional but could unfortunately be real: the risk of a great power war in the 21st century, the risk of a U.S., a China, a Russia going to war. Except that it's backed by 400 endnotes documenting how every single technology in it, every single trend, even some of the things that characters say, are drawn from the real world.

'Author P.W. Singer says that if you think war is going to be easy, it'll be likelier to happen. And it's not just among leaders. Polling in China — 74 percent of Chinese think they'd win a war with the U.S. There's a term that translates as "peace disease," which is what Chinese military officers have started to lament having. The idea of, "I've never served in combat, and that's a bad thing." These attitudes are very reminiscent of the attitude before WWI.'

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