Is there a person out there ready and able to start a new world war post haste really?
No, I am not talking about Trump ordering demolition of the Chinese military islands in the South China Sea. In a hypothetical sort of way, I can see a possible chain of logic for why he might do that.
No, I am talking about something more immediate, more likely, more indefensible and more destructive.
CNN reported yesterday that Mike Rogers (not the Congressman) wants to use cybercom to conduct offensive retaliation against Russia (but he loves China and Iran too) for their actions in hacking the DNC. Since DNC is Democrats, he expects they wouldn't resist. They report we really have great cyberoffensive capabilities we can use, like Stuxnet,
Oops! Don't the CNN people have any memory, or read Fortune magazine? (OK, for decades I only read Fortune when google sends me there, but I do LOTS of all kinds of google stuff.) Don't they know that that cyberoffensive capability is out there now for anyone?
There is no nation on earth with significant energy whose electric power system is not highly vulnerable.
The reality is that any day now YOU could wake up to discover that your electricity is off, that it won't be on again for six months (forget your little diesel backup if you have one) , and that the same is true for the folks who brought you food. No problem, if you don't mind stopping food for six months, And Rogers (and the folks egging him on) don't seem to care.
CNN did at least note that if the US followed his desires we might experience a wee little pushback.
What's amazing is that we have such powerful people intent on causing such stupid damage to everyone, presumably for political purposes of their own, which are indifferent to whether we starve.
There COULD be a way out, if he had not abolished the department at NSA addressing the key protection issues. Is there any hope Trump's new people could understand what is going on and
install the urgently needed patches, while avoiding the immediate huge risks? (By the way, my paper at www.werbos,com/NATO_terrorism.pdf has already had significant international distribution.
For myself, I would feel it already said what needs to be said, but if it were really understood on first read we would be in a different situation. Yet I remember the Republican staffer who quoted Upton Sinclair... "There is no fact so simple that people can fail to understand if they feel their paycheck depends on not understanding.")
Enough. We may live, and we may die, and I just a retired old guy with other things on his plate and absolutely zero authority. Sensitive enough that I can wake up and feel what your future pain may be.
For the few days left in which Obama is President, I suspect he would NOT authorize this kind of warfare, but the particular gang involved might or might not care all that much about such niceties. (No coincidence they have offloaded a lot of stuff the way Ollie North did, but of course not reporting to Nixon in this case, and burned a few bridges that would make connections obvious.) More likely, Obama will support "name and shame" leaks. It will remind Putin of how the US might have
strengthened its policy of becoming "mother in law to the world" under Hillary.
======= Clarification Dec 17
CNN just had a guy saying "the left also says the American intelligence community wants a war with Russia and China." This speaks to the same incorrect implicit assumptions which led Trump to say
"it's those folks who told us Saddam had WMD." There is a big difference between long-term government employees and outside networks developing powers to harass intimidate and overrule them. The WMD story is a classic case, where honest hardworking people did not lie, but folks like Cheney and his minions (still very much around, recommending cabinet officials to Trump!) took over the communication channels. I did name the name Mike Rogers because CNN already reported on Cybercom, and the reorganization which wiped out Information Assurance was also reported in the press (as cited in www.werbos.,com/NATO_terrorism.pdf). Massive reorganization, and massive strengthening of connections which input from a network quite different from the "bureaucracy" legal hierarchy. The analogy to Ollie North... well, enough said. To look beyond Rogers, look up and out, not in and down, and least in that sector. Other sectors... well, Hillary herself has pretty clear earthy data by now.