Preparing for the next generation of cyber threats


Where are the greatest opportunities for the United States and its allies – as well as their authoritarian opponents – in terms of military innovation in cyberspace by 2040? And where can we expect the greatest vulnerabilities to evolve or emerge? Both of these broad questions underlie that the United States and other democracies are not surprised by an illiberal adversary who discovers new great ideas about military operations sooner than we do — risking failure to contain and defeat in any war that may occur.

My approach in this political report is to try to look for about two decades into the future, extrapolating from today to determine where technology can reach so far. Such a time horizon provides an opportunity for proper planning and innovation. However, this time horizon is also short enough that current trends in laboratory research can help us understand the future without indulging in rampant speculation. Since it takes decades to develop many defense systems, it should not be too difficult to assess what the world might look like in terms of the deployment of military technology in two decades.

My overall prediction is that technological change relevant to military innovation may be faster and more effective in the next 20 years than has been proven over the last 20 – and this sense of opportunity is driven largely in cyberspace. It is possible that the constant rapid pace of computer innovation may make the next two decades more revolutionary than the last two. The dynamics in robotics and cybersecurity discussed here can only accelerate. They can be more fully used by modern military organizations. They are likely to be important ways to extend to artificial intelligence (AI). At least the analysis of the last 20 years would seem to indicate the potential for such acceleration. This is especially true in light of the fact that many countries (primarily China but also Russia) now have the resources to compete with Western countries in military innovation. Among other things, this combination of factors and dynamics strongly suggests that the United States and its allies address major vulnerabilities in the cyberspace in anticipation of possible future attacks by Russia and / or China.

In my opinion, the established superpower should focus its concerns and efforts, at least as vulnerable to paralyzing attacks, rather than opportunities for new and deadly methods of attack. surprised or ahead of others. Allowing the Achilles heel to evolve in military planning and national infrastructure is one of the most dangerous things a nation can do in matters of war and peace.

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