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One of the U.S. government's leading China experts reveals the hidden strategy fueling that country's rise – and how Americans have been seduced into helping China overtake us as the world's leading superpower.
For more than forty years, the United States has played an indispensable role helping the Chinese government build a booming economy, develop its scientific and military capabilities, and take its place on the world stage, in the belief that China's rise will bring us cooperation, diplomacy, and free trade. But what if the "China Dream" is to replace us, just as America replaced the British Empire, without firing a shot?
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Bradley Manning perpetrated the biggest breach of military security in American history. While serving as an Army intelligence analyst, he leaked an astounding amount of classified information to WikiLeaks: classified combat videos, plus hundreds of thousands of documents from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and from embassies around the globe. Nearly all of WikiLeaks' headline-making releases of information have come from a single source: Bradley Manning.
The leaks affected governments the world over–the Arab Spring may have been sparked, in part, by Manning's revelations. They propelled WikiLeaks to a level of international prominence it never had before and forever changed the delicate dance between secrecy and transparency.
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In 2015, Russian hackers tunneled deep into the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee, and the subsequent leaks of the emails they stole may have changed the course of American democracy. But to see the DNC hacks as Trump-centric is to miss the bigger, more important story: Within that same year, the Russians not only had broken into networks at the White House, the State Department, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but had placed implants in American electrical and nuclear plants that could give them the power to switch off vast swaths of the country. This was the culmination of a decade of escalating digital sabotage among the world’s powers, in which Americans became the collateral damage as China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia battled in cyberspace to undercut one another in daily just-short-of-war conflict.
The Perfect Weapon is the startling inside story of how the rise of cyberweapons transformed geopolitics like nothing since the invention of the atomic bomb. Cheap to acquire, easy to deny, and usable for a variety of malicious purposes—from crippling infrastructure to sowing discord and doubt—cyber is now the weapon of choice for democracies, dictators, and terrorists. Two presidents—Bush and Obama—drew first blood with Operation Olympic Games, which used malicious code to blow up Iran’s nuclear centrifuges, and yet America proved remarkably unprepared when its own weapons were stolen from its arsenal and, during President Trump’s first year, turned back on the US and its allies. The government was often paralyzed, unable to threaten the use of cyberweapons because America was so vulnerable to crippling attacks on its own networks of banks, utilities, and government agencies.
Continue reading “The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age”