> The first is that the unprecedented scale and pace of technological change will outstrip our ability to effectively adapt to it. Second, we will be in a world of ceaseless and pervasive cyberinsecurity and cyberconflict against nation-states, businesses and individuals. Third, the flood of data about human and machine activity will put such extraordinary economic and political power in the hands of the private sector that it will transform the fundamental relationship, at least in the Western world, between government and the private sector. Finally, and perhaps most ominously, the digital revolution has the potential for a pernicious effect on the very legitimacy and thus stability of our governmental and societal structures.
Sounds like the cyberpunk dystopia is come to pass. Just waiting on a "Screaming Fist" type incident...
After recent stream of climate change articles I just can't read these NSA statements without thinking that they're worrying about the wrong thing.
edit: I can't tell if parent refers to the red herring or the objectives of the Screaming Fist operation.
> "Operation Screaming Fist," which planned on infiltrating and disrupting Soviet computer systems from ultralight aircraft dropped over Russia.
For the 3rd and 4th points, we could rather envision a massive decentralization of power, which would be effectively a change in the model, but not necessarily in a bad way.
Telecom, batteries and local energy production will allow much more flexible forms of local auto-organisations and decision-making.
Parts of centralized institutions will be obsolete or further decentralized to better fit local specificities.
The only irreplaceable aspect of the biggest countries is their military army, but we could also imagine a federation of each state's armies through common interests (which would be something like EU : cooperation of local armies toward a common goal). We could imagine that more autonomous regions with more autonomous armies means less single points of (global) failure.
Edit: this focuses on the commoners side, and I agree with what JetSpiegel said regarding the top-level aspect.
I predict something a bit different. ie - Most "centralization" will move to the private sector, and they will become more and more powerful.
Governments will become less and less powerful. Less and less able to check corporate hegemony. More and more decentralized as they weaken and fracture.
Corporations, meanwhile, will consolidate powers. Become more and more independent of weaker decentralized governments that are, naturally, not going to be terribly unified in facing the corporates down.
And why would governments accept this?
That way governments could stay in control without stomping on the liberties and freedom of it's citizens.... after all the government is there at the service of the people... right?
Though I admit sometimes the futurist manage to create a big hype around some technology and everyone pays lip service to the coming technology rapture.
NATO is decentralised. We can see this clearly because of the bunfights about whether members are spending enough on their own armies to be good contributors to the alliance. Also, NATO has no political goals beyond defending its members against any attack. It's not like the EU which has an expansive ideological vision of the future.
Henry Kissinger pls talk to Kim Kardashian, and the marketing departments of the world. They will have better ideas on how to fight the next war than anyone who has traditionally fought one. What ever you do don't talk to techies. As Chinese Intelligence is showcasing in Hong Kong, building giant machinery that vacuums up oceans of data does diddly squat.
I mean, I'm sure there's a lot more to it and it's more complicated than that, but I think we'll eventually adjust fine to the big-data world we increasingly find ourselves in.
That's the future of war.
We need all the data there is. Plus enough AI to analyze it, and provide actionable intelligence. So you need to give us lots of money. Really, lots. And trust us. A lot.
“It was an offer to cooperate,” Mr. Artimovich said.
“Why else would you work for the government?” he added. “The salaries are tiny. But if you do something illegal, and go to prison for eight or nine years, the F.S.B. can help you,” he said, using a Russian abbreviation for the Federal Security Service."
"Since 2000, Mitnick has been a paid security consultant, public speaker and author. He does security consulting for Fortune 500 companies and the FBI, performs penetration testing services for the world's largest companies and teaches Social Engineering classes to dozens of companies and government agencies."
At least according to all these episodes of Law and Order and such I've seen...
Russians who work for GRU serve Putin. Of course Putin is not going to put those to jail. The USA isn't going to put NSA employees to jail either.
We need ideas that are somewhat out of the box. Something that isn't already being done that we can start doing to bolster our capabilities.
And nice, high-backed office chairs. And dual monitors for each workstation, with the computation hardware refreshed at least every three years--to include a real graphics card, that actually works with virtualization, because of 3D mapping.
And the kitchenettes should also be enclosed in their own rooms, so microwaved fish or broccoli smells don't permeate all the offices at lunch time. Not that I definitely know that's a thing that actually happens, but I imagine that if it did, if might break a software developer's concentration. Every. Danged. Time.
For national security!
Should probably recommend these "critical security precautions" to all of our allies, too. And potential allies. And probably the adversaries will copy them, but not much we can do about that.
Huh? Why the united states couldn't? It's government/military budget is much higher...
As for the "force them", China and Russia don't need to force anyone to work for their cybersecurity teams either (nor it would be wise to have someone do such crucial tasks against their will).
Paying goes a long way...
I won't compromise my personal ethics, though. Not at that price. I'd need another $300k/year, a real defined-benefit pension, family gym membership, company-leased car, tuition benefits, and a bullshit story that I can tell myself in order to sleep at night.
And in order to set aside my personal vendettas, such as by actually propping up AT&T or Bank of America in some way, I'll need 8 figures and a 30-hour work week. And unrestricted common stock--not so much that the CEOs have to kiss my ass, but enough that I don't get automatically ignored.
In the government agency I'm employed with, the cyber security manager for our products has only a logistics management background. The information assurance personnel are contractors, but they don't have much impact on the real decision making.
I'm not sure how they can fix this, but I do think it will need to be addressed if they want to hire and retain top talent. They have interesting problems but no one will work on them if they feel they are, in the end, hurting their fellow country-people.
The other half is admitting that the government did something wrong in the first place, which they can do by prosecuting officials who broke the law, retire those that quasi-legally facilitated domestic dragnets, and pardoning Snowden, Winner, etc.
That’s going to take politicians who aren’t jingoistic.
If I knew a 3-letter federal organization was dedicated to defensive tools, white-hat pen testing, and US infrastructure cyber security, I might consider joining. But the NSA has managed to tarnish its name with domestic cyber spying on US citizens, and that should have been the realm of the FBI, which is supposed to follow laws and can be audited.
We can only hope that NSA actually has some of these types of guys and we just don't know about it. But I'd argue that if the NSA was getting any of those types of guys, they weren't getting very many.
Another thing to think about is the athletics analogy. Schools like Stanford and Northwestern can't get the athletes that a place like Alabama can get. However, they do a good job of training up the athletes they can get to the point where these schools have actually been respectable from time to time. It would be interesting to consider the realistic feasibility of hiring "2 stars" or "no stars", so to speak, and then training them up. (Of course, this doesn't always work. Most schools have teams that suck. That's kind of the danger with the "train them up" idea.)
Stop spying on and collecting all of "Random Joe's" emails and chats, and start targeting people who are actual threats to national security (and don't misinterpret any random petty crime as "national security issue" to give you an excuse to abuse those powers either).
Economic espionage or to help corporate friends should never happen either. No, it doesn't matter that "China does it, too".
Where is the money going to come from? We cutting something else? Like outdated military infrastructure since we should be ramping up for the cyber future? Or are we instead going to ramp up the deficit spending more to cover the extra expenses?
Have you actually thought your proposed solution through? Have you considered the larger picture?
We're already deficit spending at a level approaching USD1.5T. How do we handle the financial implications of such a shift?
Most of the "best and brightest" in America, are not, in fact, American. How do we get them the necessary security clearances? Should we be giving them that level of clearance?
I won't even go into the fact that the private sector would still be making all of the best tech as they gobbled up intellectual capital from around the globe, and we only have the US to snap people up from. Sure France, Germany, Russia, China etc can only snap people up from their nations too, but they have much better educational systems.
This problem requires more considered thought, and very likely a little bit of creativity, to work through.
The OP's plan seems like a good one to bolster national security. OP doesn't need to lay out every single step of the solution, all the way down to the US education system, in order to make it a good point.
From the money we currently pay third party contractors to do the job.
>We're already deficit spending at a level approaching USD1.5T. How do we handle the financial implications of such a shift
By realizing that a gigantic increase in their salary would not be remotely large enough to constitute "a shift."
>How do we get them the necessary security clearances? Should we be giving them that level of clearance?
With the same bogus system we use for everybody else.
I've argued before that U.S. critical infrastructure vulnerability will prevent it from intervening in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Its lack of a strong homeland defensive posture on infrastructure has emboldened regional powers like China, Russia, and Iran to assert themselves over local NATO allies without fear of US retaliation. e.g. The US isn't going to risk a dam flooding or a long term grid failure over a distant minor ally. Arguably, NATO made sense when partners could defend their infrastructure, but the mutual aid commitment becomes a suicide pact when your cities can be turned into tribal warzones by depriving them of power, payments, and fuel. Nobody wants to get drawn into that by a minor ally.
That's the weakness that creates the power vacuum into which warring parties pile in. We do indeed live in interesting times.
You're essentially arguing that the US is paralyzed due to the possibility of unknown unknowns. It might make sense to think that way to write a book, or for brainstorming large-scale disaster planning. But every system has someone responsible for it, and that someone needs to be responsible for securing it to best practices.
From a policy perspective, we wouldn't just accept that a power plant's energy handlers hum along unsupervised and so could fail catastrophically due to some latent problems. Rather, there are inspection and maintenance schedules to do the diligence of adhering to best practices. That same diligence needs to be brought to bear on a plant's information systems, and if those information systems are hooked up to a WAN (for which there may not be a choice), then that diligence needs to be applied to handling abstract adversarial attackers.
Not doing that is a grave failure, and what seems to be going on here is a "nobody's fault" because it's not in the plant administrators' or vendors' interest to look down and see that they're already past the edge of the cliff. But allowing it to persist is simply kicking the can down the road in an unsustainable manner.
Best practices have been and continue to be the lowest common denominator and an abysmal failure. Compliance solves nothing, and it is a make work project for compromised jobsworth consultants who lack the standing to tell anyone they told us so.
What I am arguing is tech and poor management culture in energy and infrastructure companies is the weak link that gave away the empire.
I basically agree with everything you've written here, but saying it already "gave away" basically means giving up. Whereas this "cyberwar" meme is a call to action, and so I think it bears repeating that on the technical side the problems are extremely straightforward. Rather the real problems are organizational/institutional, and that's where blame needs to be directed - so that the call to action doesn't lead to further obtuse top-down measures like more procedure-bound certification-based consultants or a national firewall.
Worthwhile top-down things that could be done would be say a national bug bounty on any critical infrastructure (and indemnification for any incidental damaged "caused" by researchers, rightfully assigning it to plant operators instead), or perhaps even a wholesale repeal of the CFAA to stop papering over the fundamental nature of the Internet being hostile noise. Stop discouraging 12 year olds from playing around with infrastructure for the lulz, and make administrators have to deal with reality rather than continuing to ignore it.
A.K.A. a time of war, like the ones that rocked Europe and the rest of the world through the 19th and early 20th century, as regional powers struggle to become the new global hegemony.
Those who desire an end to the Pax Americana, be careful what you wish for.
People are irrational. For the sake of transgressing a minor boundary, wars have occurred, even if the boundary has no strategic value. Suppose there are patrols into barren hinterland, that could still cause a war, even though the lands could not support permanent habitation.
It is theorized that Germany started WWI because of growing popular support for the socialist party.
First, calling these issues "homeland defensive postures" makes no sense.
I don't understand how you can view the current situation as "regional powers asserting themselves." NATO now borders Russia and the US effectively controls two states bordering Iran. The only bold moves any of those states has made was Russia's move into Crimea, but even that was Russia preventing their port from switching over to NATO.
Part of the piece is "OMG China!" with some pretty dubious assumptions, especially things like their GDP being bigger than the US is an existential threat.
"The world is scary" is not a narrative I will respond to. Of course it is - it's bloody frightening. But have you tried framing the discussion in a way that is not so warfare and zero sum-focused but rather collaborative?
The rest of this piece contains the kind of Cold War logic that, while understandable from someone whose job it is to solve these problems, is also alarming to see in what is supposed to be a "new approach" to preparedness from an agency.
This seems like a backdoor argument to compromising privacy, asking politely for businesses to be friendlier, while at the same time asking for more money than their already astronomical budget.
The obvious first step here is to Fix. Your. Own. House.
Become more transparent about what you are doing. Don't talk about secret bunkers in the first paragraph but instead about what you are going to do in order to share more with industry, and the kinds of investments you are going to make to ensure government can keep up.
Included in that is staffing proposals, workforce management changes, being more lenient with behaviors that are not relevant to your ability to hold a clearance to broaden recruitment, doing more work in the open and possibly a new imperative to focus on privacy and help protect privacy for all Americans despite best attempts of companies to destroy it. Some of that was alluded to but I find it really hard to take this piece seriously.
We live in extraordinarily peaceful times. Those have cropped up throughout history. They have never lasted because balances of power shift. We are not at the end of history. We are a footnote in a history book written a thousand years from now.
I hope you're right, though.
One approach is to ensure that you have relationships / commonalities / connections tight enough that extensive conflict does not help either party and work on the relationship. This balance has a lot of proxy wars and holds OK...until something upsets the balance. But if you have dialog in place maybe you don't blow up the world.
Another is to invest everything in the thing that will upset the balance: countries racing to the next version of a nuclear weapon - in this piece that is AI / Cyber.
Shifting everything as a society involves a lot of sacrifice that has (historically) also destabilized the society to the point that it collapses as a result.
I think there's wiggle room here, and when I say "collaborative" I don't mean that we're all sharing technology but rather that we are on a single planet and we already are codependent and maybe let's see the obvious benefits instead of immediately jumping to weapons.
In terms of tone I'd also wonder which tone is better for recruitment? "Kill the hun!" or "Build the future"? If they want me to work there, it's the latter.
This is often the result of one side claiming everyone is about to attack them and massively increasing their military budget.
You want the US to continue to be globally dominant? Stop over-regulating drones, for one thing. The lack of viable drone business models is a serious setback for training the next generation of aerospace engineers.
So they want to ramp up surveillance again... better get ready for my new side job as insurgent against the state.
Having an agency that sees everything as a threat should not have the competence to determine civil interactions or should be shackled to a more severe degree. The lack of trust in western societies doesn't seem to be a factor in their threat analysis. Maybe not worth it for budget discussions... idiotic...
> in a vast databank of personally identifying information about its citizens, from iris and facial recognition to DNA data. That is antithetical to our values.
I think this is a lie. It is not against their value. On the contrary these are exactly values espoused as per evidence acquired by people currently residing in very dark cells.
> Our innovative and entrepreneurial society affords us a unique advantage in dealing with those implications.
Some people hire whores, some people hire security firms. But it too often is to stick your dick into something.
> our society could consider greater coordination between government and the private sector
to combat unruly citizens...
This would be a great opportunity for the new york times to show some of their critical investigative abilities.
This is plainly painting a threat to the wall to justify spying on citizens. Even if this show deep ineptitude, I fear it might be working
Link to neat video explaining how to easily encrypt a message on a piece of paper. "Bear in mind if we are talking about banning encryption, we are talking about banning mathematics". I love that line.
The critique you refer towards is familiar when we talk about terrorism operations that spin off from less powerful nations, and for many years the "war on terror" has been about detecting such small scale operations that can definitely be traced to all the nasty things the US has done for many decades.
However, this article is mostly referring to Russia and China as the most critical actors in this style of warfare; these are relatively large and powerful nations who have shown to be adversarially aggressive to the US and many other nations so I'm not sure how there would be "peace" with them other than allowing them to continue to wreak havoc in their neighboring nations and territories unchecked, not to mention that they would continue to launch direct attacks on our internal processes, which wouldn't actually prevent a world conflict from occurring, only hasten its arrival. We have already been attacked quite severely in this regard with great success.
Heck, why not put 1/3 of the NSA budget towards hardening computers and networks?
I'm afraid that given the choice between:
. Everyone is surveilled.
. No one is surveilled.
They'll always pick the first, even with the best intentions.
It's for the children.
That has been tried. It doesn't work.
TLDR: You can build this stuff. But it's a waste of money without the human resources necessary to keep the infrastructure resources running & maintained.
Who do you think is going to run & maintain schools & infrastructure? Let's delve a little deeper--
If you spend time in a developing country, or research their demographics you'll see why.
Let me give you one example: Mexico.
"While SEP data show that nearly all students who complete lower-secondary education enroll in upper-secondary school, the nationwide graduation rate is currently just 67 percent." https://wenr.wes.org/2019/05/education-in-mexico-2 )
Mexico is doing pretty good actually.
So, let's see about a more relevant example: Afghanistan.
"Afghanistan it has, according publishes UNESCO, an adult literacy rate of 31.74%."
The answer is:
Sure, you can build this stuff. But it's a waste of money without the human resources necessary to keep the infrastructure resources running & maintained.
Take the Hitler / Darwin pill: as long as there are separate entities and limited resources, they will be in conflict. Accept it, it's a part of nature.
Parts of the US Government are already sounding the alarm over this. see- https://innovation.defense.gov/software/
Basically, we are too slow. The contract acquisition process and waterfall development moves at a glacial pace. I have some serious doubts we will ever adapt since it would require a restructuring of the way our defense industry operates.
In a perfect world, Project Zero would have been based at the NSA.
Instead they have let the wiretapping crew take over everything.
Mandate that all software - everywhere - is written in Java or Rust with no unsafe blocks (but, oops, you can't realistically do that in Rust).
Make it illegal to use web apps to administer infrastructure. Desktop GUIs all the way (no XSS there ...).
Then mandate that this infrastructure can't be administered from Windows, but only some locked down new OS that required iOS style code signing from top to bottom.
Then forbid the use of passwords for authenticating to anything, no matter how trivial.
Think many geeks would get excited about that? People write insecure software because they can't/won't accept the fact that they enjoy building software in ways that are very insecure. For a lot of coders you'll prise C out of their cold dead hands, and they'll continue making hackable IoT devices until you do.
People write insecure applications because of all the priorities they are given by management, security usually isn't even on the list. Perhaps we'll get to the point of real maturity and have security experts working in every department, and operations with real security. Maybe.
I honestly think the enemy will take out our power stations via malicious code that may already be sitting there waiting to go off right now.
A few days after that, when people are still in total darkness and the supermarket shelves are empty then we will turn on ourselves and our "leaders" because we are cold, hungry etc: we'll destroy ourselves first.
I don't even think a shot will need to be fired!
I don't think in such case normal people would be able to reach "leaders" in their bunkers or whatever they prepare.
Coincidentally with the increase in military equipment being sold to local police departments these days, said mayors will have some firepower to work with if they ever do decide to convince their townspeople to go rogue and play for keeps.
So people will do what, attach the mayor?
Not really responsible for the mess, and not really such a big shot to be worth it...
Not so sure. There have been all kind of wars in the past 10-15 years, and they were pretty much conventional. Bombs, armies, attacks, and so on.
No high tech wizardry needed...
Not to mention, why even have things like power stations and other infrastructure reachable over the internet in the first place?
Imagine China fired all her nukes at the US and the US retaliated while the Chinese ones were in the air... there would be nothing left of either country within a couple of hours (or however long it takes to reach across the globe).
Anything left would be uninhabitable forever.
I dunno... nukes are messy.
E-warfare is "clean" and costs practically nothing to do.
2: Tactical (not strategic) nuclear weapons are very likely to be used on the battlefield in the next major conflict involving the superpowers. The most plausible pathway to a nuclear armageddon is if the number and yield of these tactical weapons keeps escalating until one side finally has enough and launches a strategic strike.
I'm not sure that's entirely true. Even if DC gets nuked before it can react, I'm pretty sure there are dead man switch-type systems in place and stuff like submarines equipped with nukes away from home so that even if they whole country was glassed there would be some retaliation. These scenarios probably don't reflect the whole arsenal, so the retaliation wouldn't hit every square inch of the enemy's land, but I would still think that threat is enough to make you not want to start anything.
There's a pretty good argument that democracy is possible because of the existence of guns. In medieval time, a peasant with a pitchfork stood no chance against a knight who'd been training his whole life and had all the tools of warfare.
These days, an angry mob of people with guns can do quite a bit of damage. The US military couldn't even beat the Viet Kong, despite how woefully inept they were at the start of the war, because they were determined not to surrender.
However, if future combat is all automated, we're back to the feudal days where all it takes to win a war is having more money than the next guy. A future Jeff Bezos could buy his own drone army and exert as much power as many national governments.
Now instead of having humans inside machines fighting other humans inside machines, it'll mostly be machines fighting machines. And yes, they'll be devastatingly effective against just humans but that's already the case with non-autonomous machines.
Autonomous weapons are a step on the existing tech advancement = force multiplier curve, I don't think they're fundamentally doctrine-changing. Like someone else commented here before, the actual game changer weapons will probably be biological. Unlike autonomous drones/tanks/whatever, advanced biological weapons will soon become available to just about any two bit state actor. Very little thought has been given towards defending against such attacks.
I meant that we'll turn to them to get things back up and running and they won't be able to. It will only be a matter of time before people start turning on them... not necessarily shooting them but in terms of trust etc.
I still believe we'll be killing each other long before that though: Once the food starts to run out then neighbours will turn on each other to feed their kids.
Maybe I've read too many comic books and sci-fi as a kid :)
Edit: The comment I'm replying to changed substantially since I replied.
* Actor A burned your crops -> Do nothing (appeasement)
* Actor B disrupted your servers causing economic losses -> Do nothing (appeasement)
* Actor C stole your technology and sold it to everyone by a fraction of your price -> Do nothing (appeasement)
* Actor D manipulated a group within your nation to cause internal conflict -> Do nothing (appeasement)
* Actor E invaded your land and claimed as their -> Do nothing (appeasement)
* Actor F used their position of power to gain concessions from you -> Do nothing (appeasement)
* Actor G defamed you, leading to society admonishing you and potentially imprisonment -> Do nothing (appeasement)
Each Actor can be seen as both individuals or nations that are in existence today. Every one has their own set of interests and rationale for acting in certain ways.
There has always been war. There will always be people who think it's their destiny to rule over you, that you'll really be much happier if you're conquered, and if you don't meekly comply then maybe you just need to be ... liberated.
For as long as some people think they're better than others, there will be wars, and I don't see people not thinking that any time soon, do you?
War to them is total war. There is no difference. Everything can be weaponized and will be used. There is no choice.
Changing that line of thinking is first very different from western lines of thinking. Second, I'd say peace-movements in such environs have yet to take root, let alone produce the progress the West has seen since Vietnam.
Delanda was very interesting in the beginning but didn't quite find or found his community and began talking in an echo chamber that impoverished his thought. Still, "War...", "Intensive science and virtual philosophy" and "A thousand years of nonlinear history" are respectively a very promising start, an impressive peak and an early mature book. Too bad I can't recommend anything from "Philosophy and simulation" forward.
> Finally, and perhaps most ominously, the digital revolution has the potential for a pernicious effect on the very legitimacy and thus stability of our governmental and societal structures.
But they then proceed to say things like
> Will Western liberal democracies, already straining under the combined demands of decaying civil infrastructure, aging populations, upgrading militaries and so on, be able to afford these investments? Given that there is no specific forcing event to require greater resources, but rather a trend, history suggests that we will appreciate the seriousness of the underinvestment only when a crisis has occurred.
Meaning that currently, our system of government is simply not built to deal with modern technology. Yet they state that the fundamental threat of forcing change within societal and governmental structure is 'ominous', while at the same time implying that it is absolutely necessary.
Discarding stability and tradition for the sake of progress is inevitable, and will happen either deliberately, through policy (this rarely happens), or by revolution.
A sense of futility is now endemic to the Information Technology community, because they think such a thing is impossible, they won't even try, and actively deride anyone who states otherwise.
The security research required to build multi-level secure operating systems was completed in response to information processing requirements during the Vietnam conflict... there are multiple models which work... none of which are implemented.
It doesn't have to be this way... look up capability based security.
"But that's a stupid/buggy app!" you cry. Well yes, but that's a simplified scenario. Confused deputies that can be tricked into using their own privileges on the behalf of others are a common security bug pattern in pure cap systems.
That said, I agree with you it's possible to do vastly better than we do today. Security isn't a priority. If it was nobody would use HTML for user interfaces, but they do because installing apps is inconvenient and HTML is nicely vendor neutral. It's also free. Convenience and price win out over security every time.
World wars happened when powers have global reach and means. In the 20th century they had that. In the 21st, even more so.
That said, in the early 20th the old European global powers were demoted from superpowers, and US/USSR emerged in their place.
But at the time the USSR leaders knew it wasn't as strong (to risk a major war with the US) and both sides had nukes, complicating the logistics. So no direct war between them (but plenty of proxy wars globally).
Today there's US, China, India as wannabe big player, Russia (still not as strong, and worse off than USSR), and a few other minor players.
(A single "pan-global" single-"country" or central government also wont stop wars. It will just make all wars civil wars and rebellions).
Also either Puzzle Palace or Body of Secrets by James Bamford. Topic: NSA.
Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash
We cut out both of those groups from peace talks with the Taliban this year. We tried to keep the talks secret from the government you're negotiating peace about. I can't imagine a more awkward way to discover that mission has been a failure.
This has turned into a Vietnam-scale boondoggle, and now we're just supposed to accept the utter failure of the DoD and State and NSA and just listen to their demands for resourcing for future boondoggles? Why? How about we try saying no for once instead of rewarding incompetence over and over again?
If we lived in an alternate reality where the State Department had a good track record and today people were posting pictures about their awesome vacations to Tripoli and Kabul and we were talking about new businesses and schools opening that would be one thing, but unfortunately it's just one failure after another with almost nothing to show for it.
I really urge you to read Catch-22. It is only a failure until you inspect the books, and then you will realize the genius of it all. Lots of people made out like the bandits they are over this.
Right now we are escalating the debt to extreme levels during the longest economic expansion in US history. I.e. we seem to be planning to bankrupt ourselves.
In the meantime, trade differences and trade wars are complex, but the net effect of the tensions with China is it is adapting away from any dependency from us, while are allies are of little help because we dropped our agreements with them.
In the meantime, the US has been falling down the country lists for health, longevity, and education for some time.
And our recent deference to authoritarian regimes over democratic allies is eroding our political power.
The US is undergoing a steep decline and a turnaround in the current divisive hyper-polarized political climate seems very unlikely.
The decline is being accelerated by the current political climate.
I like the US' diversified portfolio of industries and stewardship of resources
Its military seems wasteful and unnecessary, perpetuated by cultural paranoia
and its domestic infrastructure for actually living seems to exist in a parallel world where it is compared to the worst countries in existence whenever challenged, operating with seeming unawareness of what other G20 countries have.
when compared to a mixture of legal frameworks to support human rights across countries that have actively made inroads in this area, US seems to lag. The comparisons being just some mostly European countries in the G20. The US seems to lack consensus on supporting its existing human rights and lacks consensus on expanding what they are.
when people say "on top", and further reflect that in its leaders masqauarading the US as a moral beacon in the world, I find this to be the exact kind of double speak that George Orwell described.
given how many attributes countries have, it further seems like the US is number one in a race only it competes in. At least in this century. The things I like about the US, number one in market liquidity, aren't really what people talk about. Perhaps given that its capital class is so relatively small to its population, their voices aren't what I hear. Deriving confidence from number aircraft carriers around the world just seems to lack perspective, or perhaps this is again related to the size of its working class that required the option of military duty to get by, people that must comply and be a soldier to obtain subsidized schooling, trades, healthcare and housing from the government. The military is a kind of cool technical feat but given the costs and lack of threat its like really? this century? Those are my main thoughts
so by which metrics is the US on top specifically, for you?
Sounds like joining the army is one way of getting these special citizenship benefits. Would you like to know more?
Colloquially - as in Im not sure if this is backed by socioeconomic demographic distribution - the military is an option for people with less options, a route for people to choose as much as college is a route for people to choose. Military service being used to defer college and access it cheaper later.
Correct me if Im wrong on this topic, this isnt what people choose in places or circumstances where other opportunities are abundant.
In terms of North Korea, it might have been a reasonable strategy if there was any evidence of a lasting deal. As it is, it looked like a PR dance by both leaders. Who knows what was going on with the Taliban.
Regarding Iran, Iran had verifiably held nuclear enrichment to a set level. This was a deal that was working and Trump just pre-emptively left it and re-applied sanctions, and now everyone is mad / surprised that Iran is once again raising its enrichment level. There are essentially no or very limited ongoing negotiations with Iran. The point of the original deal was to prevent a nuclear Iran and it was working. Once Iran gets Nukes the international stage is very different. From an outsider perspective it very much appears that we have stepped back from the deal in order to find a reason to go to war.
Looks like author doesn't know what he's talking about here?
Granted we are not at mach 20 missiles or even mach 5 missiles yet, but this is an article about the future, after all.
Mainly for exactly the reason of making the missile too difficult to detect until it's far too late to do anything about it.
IIRC there's also two additional reasons: striking from a low angle means a better chance of damaging the ship at or below the waterline in order to sink it, and because sea-skimming means the sensors have a much easier time picking out the ship from the sea.
Most likely the critical IT need in the Next World War will be bioinformatics to identify pathogens being used in biowarfare and to design, produce and distribute vaccines, drugs, and other countermeasures. The second IT need will be to enable society to function without the movement of or physical contact between people in order to limit contagion.