Cyber Wars — It is best to win without fighting — Sun Tzu, is the title of a chapter and opening quote in my 2005 book Custom Maid War for New World Disorder: In Guns We Trust. Fourteen years ago the writing was on the Wall.
“Battles in the 21st century will no longer be fought only in the
air and battlefield with conventional or nuclear weapons. They
have already moved to cyberspace. The first shots America fired
in Iraq were virtual volleys in Arabic.”
That was my opening sentence of the chapter followed in the next paragraph with:
“President Bush signed off on National Security Presidential
Directive 16, a secretive order to the government to develop
a national strategy to determine when and how America would
launch cyber-attacks against enemy computer networks. The full
extent of the U.S. cyber arsenal is among the most tightly held
national security secrets, even more guarded than nuclear
The same holds true for the China, Iran and Russia cyber-arsenals and attacks.
Hacking of U.S. Networks Traced to China and Iran: Renewed Assaults on Banks and Agencies Seen as Reaction to Trump’s Policies was a front page headline in The New York Times on Monday February 18, 2019. Really? Negotiating for fair trade and denuclearization results in cyber-attacks and thefts? How does that help resolve contentious issues?
“The Iranian attacks coincide with a renewed Chinese offensive
geared toward stealing trade and military secrets from American
military contractors and technology companies, according to nine
intelligence officials, private security researchers and lawyers familiar
with the attacks….
Boeing, General Electric Aviation and T-Mobile were among the recent
targets of Chinese industrial espionage efforts.”
Chinese cyber-attacks were reduced substantially four years ago after Presidents Obama and Xi reached a landmark deal to stop hacks meant to steal trade secrets.
“Cyber is one of the ways adversaries can attack us and retaliate in effective and nasty ways that are well below the threshold of an armed attack or laws of war,” said Joel Brenner, a former leader of U.S. counterintelligence.
Russia is still considered America’s foremost hacking adversary.
America and China must find equilibrium for the Pacific Century to be a peaceful one. On the one hand, China cannot be allowed to continue stealing American technology and knowhow. On the other hand, America cannot be allowed to launch a second Cold War merely to preserve its position as the sole military power.