2013/10/10 John Kelsey <crypto....@gmail.com>

> The problem with offensive cyberwarfare is that, given the imbalance
> between attackers and defenders and the expanding use of computer controls
> in all sorts of systems, a cyber war between two advanced countries will
> not decide anything militarily, but will leave both combattants much poorer
> than they were previously, cause some death and a lot of hardship and
> bitterness, and leave the actual hot war to be fought.

I think you'd only employ most the offensive means in harmony with the
start of the hot war. That makes a lot more sense than annoying your

> Imagine a conflict that starts with both countries wrecking a lot of each
> others' infrastructure--causing refineries to burn, factories to wreck
> expensive equipment, nuclear plants to melt down, etc.  A week later, that
> phase of the war is over.  Both countries are, at that point, probalby
> 10-20% poorer than they were a week earlier.

I think this would cause more than 20% damage (esp. the nuclear reactor!).
But I can imagine a slow buildup of disabled things happening.

> Both countries have lots of really bitter people out for blood, because
> someone they care about was killed or their job's gone and their house
> burned down or whatever.  But probably there's been little actual
> degradation of their standard war-fighting ability.  Their civilian
> aviation system may be shut down, some planes may even have been crashed,
> but their bombers and fighters and missiles are mostly still working.  Fuel
> and spare parts may be hard to come by, but the military will certainly get
> first pick.  My guess is that what comes next is that the two countries
> have a standard hot war, but with the pleasant addition of a great
> depression sized economic collapse for both right in the middle of it.

This would be a mayor plus in the eyes of the countries' leaders.
Motivating people for war is the hardest thing about it. I do think the
military relies heavily on electronic tools for coordination. And I think
they have plenty of parts stockpiled for a proper blitzkrieg.

Most the things you mentioned can be achieved with infiltration and covert
operations, which are far more traditional. And far harder to do at great
scale. But they are not done until there is already a significant blood

I'm not sure what'd happen, simply put. But I think it'll become just
another aspect of warfare. It is already another aspect of the cover
operations, and we haven't lived a high-tech vs high-tech war. And if it
does happen, the chance we live to talk about it is less than I'd like.

You pose an interesting notion about the excessiveness of causing a great
depression before the first bullets fly. I counter that with the effects of
conventional warfare being more excessively destructive.
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