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How China Plans to Win the Next Great Big War In Asia

For example, in ensuring operational access in the East or South China Seas, the US military will have to ensure the security, reliability, and integrity of its mission-critical C4ISR systems as well as combat support and logistics systems that will become increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats as well as other emerging forms of electronic warfare, including threats from electromagnetic pulse and high-powered microwave weapons.

A sophisticated cyberattack on these systems, whether by the PLA or other potential adversary, would likely result in cascading effects with ramifications on the individual US services and their abilities to carry out operational missions.  

As conflicts move into the cyber and information domains, the centers of gravity are also going to shift. The value and more importantly, the accuracy and reliability of strategic information relevant for the situational awareness and function of the nation state as a system will become even more important with the increased dependence on cyberspace.

Cyber-enabled conflicts will evolve parallel with technological changes – e.g. the introduction of the next generation of robots, artificial intelligence, and remotely controlled systems that will continue to alter the character of future warfare. Ultimately, however, both cyber and information domains – whether civil or military – may become simultaneously targets as well as weapons, including for the armed forces of China, Russia and the US.

Michael Raska is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

This first appeared in AsiaTimes here.

Image: Creative Commons. 

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