Monday, December 18, 2017

Learning to Fight When Screens Go Dark

Thomas E. Ricks, Foreign Policy: If we woke up tomorrow and found that none of our laptops, iPhones, iPads, or personal assistants worked, what would we do? In our near-paperless society, our bank records, medical records, and other key personal data would be lost. Even if the disruption lasted only days or weeks, the social and economic consequences would far exceed 9/11 in impact. All of that would be bad, but the military impact is potentially worse. If whatever entity that causes this internet apocalypse is prepared to operate without computers, cellular communications, or even radios the effect on US national security could be worse than the dark months following Pearl Harbor when the Japanese overran virtually all of the Pacific east of Hawaii. We now know that American adversaries -- to include state and non-state actors -- are attempting to challenge us for cyberspace domination. We need to ask ourselves what we would do if they succeed only temporarily.

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Conventional wisdom has it that the internet cannot be taken down but every time someone has claimed that something is impossible, someone else has done it. Even if the cloud cannot be destroyed, the hardware devices that translate the information it contains into human use remain vulnerable. Let's take electromagnetic pulse (EMP) as an example. A series of low-yield nuclear explosions are capable of frying every computer, cell phone, power grid, and computer dependent vehicle in the radius of each blast. Some military experts think that the use of such a weapon is unlikely as the effect of EMP is omni-directional and will impact the side that sets it off as badly as it does the side initiating the blast. This logic holds up as long as the initiating actor is also relying on computers and electromagnetic means to command and control their forces. However, if they find a way to fight without the grid and the cloud, while denying cyberspace to us, we're toast.

Comments


Every policy document on cyberspace begins with the notion that it is interconnected -- and yet we declare it a military domain, rather than a domain in which the military must operate simultaneously with allies, adversaries, the business sector, and individuals. Interconnectedness means that national security actors are in contact with other players and, unlike in strategic environments in which deterrence might succeed, it suggests that strategy must assume that contact and action are never absent."


Richard Harknett, in a letter on the fall 2017 issue of International Security (
foreignpolicy.com)

#1 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2017-12-17 02:34 PM

Hey GoNoles, your boy Trump banned the word "vulnerable."

So we are no longer vulnerable to this kind of attack.

#MAGA

#2 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-12-17 02:57 PM

So we are no longer vulnerable to this kind of attack. #2 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

What adjective are you attempting to use to describe America's readiness for this type of attack? Seems like you're missing a word ;).

#3 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2017-12-17 03:29 PM

I'd plant seeds and watch all the gun-toting idiots kill one another from my hill.

#4 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2017-12-18 02:06 PM

#4 | Posted by IndianaJones

Problem is in the end some would be left and they would be coming for what you have and are growing...

#5 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2017-12-18 04:19 PM

If this were to happen and it was ONLY the internet, it wouldn't be totally terrible. But yes there would be some major implications and people like the Military are forgetting them. It's bad enough our battle field communications systems are hackable junk - without them the military would struggle mightily.

But if all electronics were disabled - just wow. Complete and utter chaos would ensue. Beyond radios, No vehicles would operate, No modern machinery would run. No electricity would flow. That means no water would flow and No natural gas would flow, etc. Military would be FUBAR but so would EVERYBODY.

#6 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2017-12-18 04:23 PM

Nah.

Guns would still work.

And guns keep us safe, according to Republicans, including the one who started this thread.

#7 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-12-18 04:27 PM

Everything might go out...but the more enterprising members of society will find work-arounds.

At which point, any progressives still alive will simply demand that the government confiscate these resources with claims like "you didn't build that..."

#8 | Posted by madbomber at 2017-12-18 05:03 PM

#6 | POSTED BY GALAXIEPETE AT 2017-12-18 04:23 PM | FLAG: You got it - It is believed, that after an EMP attack, about 90% of the US populations would die off in less than six months. Imagine major cities, alone, with no running water and no trucks bringing in food and supplies, and of course the hospitals would also be non-functional. Chaos would reign.

#9 | Posted by MSgt at 2017-12-18 07:06 PM

How quickly can new manual supply systems replace our current systems? If we had to start from scratch, the first goals are going to be communications, food, water, then power. (criticism welcome) This would be a fun project to work on with city planners. Unfortunately a lot of the sick and elderly would succumb quickly.

#10 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-12-18 07:18 PM

Military would be FUBAR but so would EVERYBODY.

#6 | Posted by GalaxiePete

Not exactly true.

The military has equipment and procedures for dealing with this already. Many cars and trucks before 1980 and some new jeeps will still operate with minor repairs. Just google "cars that would survive emp pulse". All you need to do is replace the alternator and starter and many of them will work just fine. There are also many old motorcycles that will still work with little to no maintenance. Just ask a Prepper if you have questions. There is a huge lab in Alamagordo where they test new and old cars and planes to see how they would survive.

The military has many Faraday rooms built to store spare parts. And many vehicles and airplanes are now built EMP "resistant" if the pulse is not too close (kind of like water resistant means don't go too deep). Spare military vehicles can be parked in Faraday buildings. If you are concerned you can build a Faraday room for your spare electronics spare alternators and coils for your older cars that may get fried.

www.askaprepper.com

#11 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-12-18 07:33 PM

Tour Of Underground Facilities In Missouri - for non-military application?

#12 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2017-12-18 08:07 PM

#9 | POSTED BY MSGT

Boaz needs a cold shower after that.

#13 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-12-18 08:39 PM

" All you need to do is replace the alternator and starter and many of them will work just fine. "

Replace it with what, or does the EMP only break the parts that are attached to a big hunk of metal called a car.

#14 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-12-18 08:40 PM

Replace it with what, or does the EMP only break the parts that are attached to a big hunk of metal called a car.

#14 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

The parts you stored in your faraday room. A faraday room (or box) is a shielded grounded room that electromagnetic energy cannot penetrate. The military has them all over. I used to work in one to tune sensitive receivers. Preppers know all about them. A good prepper has already built one.

#15 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-12-19 10:44 AM

#15 I'll add to that...some warehouse (oddly cheap steel buildings) are faraday cages just by their construction materials and pipes running through them, which means that there will be useable parts somewhere... The hard part will be being the one that gets to them first.

#16 | Posted by PinkyanTheBrain at 2017-12-19 11:10 AM

Terrible logic to use for the point the author is trying to make because he's not using an apples to apples comparison. This only works for the Taliban because they are being invaded. If the Taliban were to come to America and try to pull those tactics, they would get obliterated after a few feet on our soil. We are trying to win a war 1000s of miles away with the fewest casualties possible. If we were being invaded and didn't have time to prepare to limit casualties, we would be doing exactly what they are. How about this, tell the US military that casualties don't matter and see how much technology isn't needed then. All it takes is large weapons and lots of people. The Taliban don't play by the same rules so their strategy isn't comparable to us.

#17 | Posted by humtake at 2017-12-19 12:21 PM

"#6 | POSTED BY GALAXIEPETE AT 2017-12-18 04:23 PM | FLAG: You got it - It is believed, that after an EMP attack, about 90% of the US populations would die off in less than six months. Imagine major cities, alone, with no running water and no trucks bringing in food and supplies, and of course the hospitals would also be non-functional. Chaos would reign."

Perhaps Puerto Rico has been a big experiment?

#18 | Posted by danni at 2017-12-19 12:36 PM

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