Sunday, February 5, 2023

Former NATO Supreme Commander Stavridis: "Expect the Unexpected in 2023: Cyberattacks and the Next Covid"

Admiral Stavridis is very sharp but he's no Alfred Thayer Mahan.
The thing to remember about officers at his level is that they are as much politicians as they are military strategists. For Stavridis that is most exemplified by his current positions as Managing Director of the Carlyle Group, and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation....

And at Bloomberg Opinion, January 2, 2023:

Ukraine, Taiwan and Iran top the list of potential crises, but the US isn’t prepared for less-obvious global cataclysms.

With the new year upon us, the big worries for global security are pretty obvious. We should be concerned about a springtime escalation in the Russia-Ukraine war, with the potential for Russian leader Vladimir Putin, in increasing desperation, to use a tactical nuclear weapon. While highly unlikely, a nuclear yield could further distort the world’s military, economic and diplomatic foundations.

A second clear danger is a Chinese attack on Taiwan, which would be even more seismic — in regard to everything from a huge impact on the manufacture of high-end microchips to reordering global trading patterns as sanctions are levied against Beijing.

Third, there is the intense popular unrest in Iran. Potential outcomes there range from the theocracy being overthrown to a brutal crackdown by the mullahs and a lashing out against regional foes Israel and Saudi Arabia.

US policymakers and analysts will spend a great deal of time anticipating and planning for these dramatic, low-likelihood scenarios. When I was supreme allied commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, we would war-game various scenarios, including some in which Russia played the nuclear card. It never ended well for either side. And during the many years I spent in the Pacific commanding destroyers, I had plenty of chances to look at our war plans in case of an attack on Taiwan.

These are areas for which the Department of Defense is reasonably well prepared, even if the risks are high and costs would be great. Yet what things are swimming just beneath the surface that could end up creating unexpected global turmoil? What are we failing to foresee? At the top of my list is a growing potential for a global series of cyberattacks....


Previously on the Admiral: 

"How To Avoid A Naval Cold War In The High North"
....The Admiral's book title [Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World’s Oceans] is remarkably similar to that of Captain Mahan's "The Influence of Sea Power upon History". I've read the latter and not the former but if I had to guess, I'd say the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard's thinking is closer to Mahan's than to Admiral Stavridis':
“We need to look differently at what an icebreaker does... We need to reserve space, weight and power if we need to strap a cruise missile package on it... U.S. presence in the Arctic is necessary for more than just power projection; it’s a matter of national security... If they remain unchecked, the Russians will extend their sphere of influence to over five million square miles of Arctic ice and water.”

Bloomberg Opinion: "China’s Targeting Underwater Internet Cables"
The writer, James Stavridis, is about as wired into the military industrial complex as it gets.
Not that there's anything wrong with that....