by Greg Krehbiel on 29 August 2013
Most of the theories I’ve heard about the path to a peaceful future involve either a one-world government of some kind or world-wide democracy — on the (questionable) theory that democratically elected governments don’t get into wars with each other.
This article got me thinking about another option. The article claims that Obama may be backing off threats to strike Syria because Syria and Iran have significant cyberwar capabilities.
The old “drop a bomb and go home” option doesn’t sound so nice if the other side can cripple your networks and disrupt electronic commerce.
This type of threat raises the possibility of a worldwide confederation of hackers who band together to stop war. Unlike the U.N., their threats could have teeth. “Stand down or we will shut down your country.”
It sounds kinda cool until you realize that such power would certainly be abused. They’d start demanding other things as well. “Legalize marijuana and prostitution or we’ll shut down your country,” etc.
Still, the example of Syria and Iran show that it may no longer be necessary to match an aggressive country’s military — that you’d be better off hiring an army of pimple-faced teens and a never-ending supply of pizza and coke.
Of course the military would adjust. They could use warships that don’t rely on networked computers. (That’s why the Galactica survived the cylon attack.)
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
-- 2013-08-29 » Greg Krehbiel