Could hackers be the key to stopping bloodshed on the battlefield?
Online warfare is going to be a key development over the next few years. Just recently Twitter, Facebook and Livejournal were collateral damage in an alleged hacker war between Russia and Georgia.
Unsurprisingly, the USA is developing robust cyber warfare strategies and already employs legions of ‘1337 haxxorz’ (probably not their official title). These won’t just be for tackling current adversaries but also for heading off conflicts before they begin.
Wired recently published a series of suggestions from Naval Postgraduate School professor John Arquilla. He wants to use hacking as a primary attack tool, crushing enemy defense systems before battle can begin.
[Arquilla would] like the US military’s coders to team up with network specialists abroad to form a global geek squad. Together, they could launch preemptive online strikes to head off real-world battles.
Armies (even guerrilla armies) are so dependent on digital communications these days that a well-placed network hit could hobble their forces. Do these cyberattacks right-and openly-and the belligerents will think twice before starting trouble. Arquilla calls his plan “a nonlethal way to deter lethal conflict.”
It’s definitely a promising idea, especially as it could lead to non-violent conflict resolution in the future. That said, we’re sure there are some people who would rather die than lose access to the internet.