Taking that into consideration, World War II is believed to have ended with atomic weapons dropped on Japan. Thus, one would expect that the next conflict would open in a similar manner. But this is not correct. World War II ended with the onset of computer technology. If it were not for computers, there would not have been a nuclear device.
The next war will begin with a cyber-attack! That is why the situation today is so dangerous.
Both Edward Snowden and Julian Assange have demonstrated the power of hacking and releasing what was thought to have been secure computer information. The power of these disclosures have proved shocking, but in many regards, helpful to common citizens because through their efforts we have learned much about the hidden agendas and intrusions into our personal lives by government.
Consider also that much of the world today is controlled by computer technology. Should a cyber-attack occur the consequences are almost impossible to imagine, especially in highly advanced tech-heavy societies like the United States. Everything is controlled by computers…even your car and the door to the local grocery store.
As the American Presidential Election heats up the consequences of a potential cyber-meltdown have grown.
The Obama/Clinton forces contend that the hacking of their computers and the release of embarrassing information is the work of Russian operatives. The Russians, as expected, deny this. Meanwhile, Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, has released a barrage of internal emails from the Clinton campaign which raise serious questions about the propriety of that political party’s actions.
All of this has further worsened relations between Russia and the West. Comments coming from both sides are indicative of some serious “saber-rattling.” The repositioning of conventional weapons is also unfolding. Nevertheless, most respond that any thoughts of a nuclear war are ridiculous because both sides comprehend the dangers that would pose. But do they recognize that a cyber war can be equally dangerous?
Suddenly this past week, Vice-President Biden promised that the United States would take serious “Clandestine cyber-operations actions” against Russia … “to send a message” because “we have the capacity to do it!” First, there is nothing “clandestine” about an announced attack. Second, just what does he mean? Does the U.S. realize that such an action would come with consequences of its own?
If indeed, the Russians are behind much of the hacking of secure American political servers would they not also have the capability of disrupting less secure banking and other infrastructure like electrical grids, transportation, and water supplies? Once started, how would such an attack and resulting counter-attack end?
Considering the social reactions to any recent crisis in America, one soon realizes that any major disruption to the grid would likely result in domestic chaos and violence. We would destroy one another without outside help.
How close are we? Just this morning (Monday) Julian Assange’s internet connection was cut by some “state enterprise.” Granted he has caused many problems for some, but he is also considered a “breath of fresh air” for many by providing transparency! Is silencing WikiLeaks the opening salvo? Is it an attack on freedom of speech?
We now also have state censorship of news. Granted RT News is merely a mouthpiece of the Kremlin, but so what? At least this gives thinking people an insight into what the Russians are concerned about. However, this morning (Monday) that network’s bank accounts were frozen by NatWest a United Kingdom banking concern …a part of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Does silencing RT News conform to expressions about freedom of speech?
From all indications, it appears “information warfare” is on the march and those driving the movement appear immune to the potential consequences of their actions. The world appears to be hurtling into a morass of chaos intentionally driven by small minded politicians on all sides blinded by their own hubris. Sadly, no one appears to be voicing outrage or even simple concern.
How will this end? No one knows. Where is the call to reason? Only silence on all sides. Many of the world’s wars were not intended, but resulted from the unintended consequences of actions taken. A thought to be carefully considered at this time when battle lines apparently have been drawn and cyber swords unsheathed.
Ron Chapman is a columnist, history professor and businessman. He is from Chalmette, La.