China’s Cyber War
Is China’s ability to hack into some of the most sensitive military information a sign of how quickly America’s military superiority could be neutralized?
The United States is the undisputed military power in the world. It spends more on its military than the next 10 nations combined, with the result being amazing superiority in almost every type of offensive and defensive technology.
But is that superiority at risk? If Chinese hackers have obtained some of America’s most sophisticated military secrets, how much has the U.S. advantage diminished? Who else may be uncovering American vulnerabilities?
Major weapons systems breached
The Washington Post reported May 27:
“Designs for many of the nation’s most sensitive advanced weapons systems have been compromised by Chinese hackers, according to a report prepared for the Pentagon and to officials from government and the defense industry.
“Among more than two dozen major weapons systems whose designs were breached were programs critical to U.S. missile defenses and combat aircraft and ships, according to a previously undisclosed section of a confidential report prepared for Pentagon leaders by the Defense Science Board.
“Experts warn that the electronic intrusions gave China access to advanced technology that could accelerate the development of its weapons systems and weaken the U.S. military advantage in a future conflict.”
What weapons systems were compromised? The Washington Post article continued:
“Some of the weapons form the backbone of the Pentagon’s regional missile defense for Asia, Europe and the Persian Gulf. The designs included those for the advanced Patriot missile system, known as PAC-3; an Army system for shooting down ballistic missiles, known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD; and the Navy’s Aegis ballistic-missile defense system.
“Also identified in the report are vital combat aircraft and ships, including the F/A-18 fighter jet, the V-22 Osprey, the Black Hawk helicopter and the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship, which is designed to patrol waters close to shore.
“Also on the list is the most expensive weapons system ever built—the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is on track to cost about $1.4 trillion.”
The BBC reported on a Chinese cyber attack on Australia involving plans for its new intelligence building:
“On Monday the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported blueprints setting out the building’s cable layouts and security systems had been illegally accessed by a server in China. …
“The plans detailed communications cabling and server locations, floor plans and security systems, the programme alleged.
“It quoted Professor Des Ball, an expert on cyber security from the Australian National University, as saying access to such details would enable an outside party to identify rooms used for sensitive activities and work out how to monitor them.
“The programme also alleged that the Prime Minister’s Office, the Defence Ministry and the Department of Foreign Affairs had been breached in hacking operations.”
Surely such reports are only the tip of the iceberg of the clandestine operations of China and other nations aimed at neutralizing the superiority of the United States and other nations.
Asymmetric warfare—21st-century style
Cyber war is only one aspect of asymmetric warfare that is making the world increasingly dangerous—especially for nations that rely on traditional military strength. Large standing armies and sophisticated weapons can be stymied by terrorists, suicide bombers and cheap improvised explosive devices.
Add cyber attacks, nuclear dirty bombs, chemical and biological weapons and the possibility of using an electromagnetic pulse to cripple an enemy’s electronics, weapons and vehicles—and traditional military power looks more and more vulnerable.
The United States may spend as much on its military as the next 10 largest spenders combined, but does that make it invincible in 21st-century conflicts?
Actually, asymmetric warfare has a long history, including guerrilla fighters, surprise attacks and the classic defeat of the giant Goliath by little David (1 Samuel 17:45-47).
In that case, it was not really the skill of the young shepherd with a sling, but his faith in God that led to victory. As David said, “The LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands” (verse 47).
The Bible clearly shows that God does intervene for those who trust in Him and obey Him. “If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them,” God promised, “five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you” (Leviticus 26:3, 8).
But God warned that national disobedience would bring consequences, including: “I will break the pride of your power” and “you shall have no power to stand before your enemies” (Leviticus 26:19, 37). These prophecies of the results of national disobedience directly apply to the English-speaking peoples, who represent a major portion of the descendants of ancient Israel (to learn more about this incredible truth, read Where Is America in Prophecy?).
If you consider the moral trends in the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and other nations, you can reach no conclusion other than that these nations are rejecting God and trampling on His good and beneficial laws. (See the article “Why Is God Angry?” for more background on this.)
Life, Hope & Truth proclaims this message of warning in hope that many will be led to repent and change—to obey God and seek His help.
Even in a dangerous world, and even if our nations do not repent, the Almighty God does offer protection. “You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you” (Psalm 91:5-7).