Blowback: Might It Spread Beyond Drones?

By James Fallows

Steve Clemons has posted an Atlantic item just now on David Ignatius's timely novel Bloodmoney, which deals among other things with how much less appealing drone warfare will seem to most Americans when we no longer monopolize the technology. The Atlantic's Robert Wright made a similar point yesterday. There is another novel coming out this summer on the same theme, which I'll say more about as its publication date nears.

I have just five minutes at the computer now, but I wanted to say that in this vein it is worth reading a new story in Russia Today, concerning the leaks/reports about the U.S. and Israeli success in using the Stuxnet virus against Iran's nuclear labs. I am all in favor of unconventional means to dissuade or delay Iran from building a nuclear weapon, if the alternative is the Israeli leadership deciding to launch a (ruinous for all sides, including Israel) preemptive strike. But it is worth noting this paragraph far down in the Russian account, emphasis added:

The report says American cyber attacks are not limited to Iran, but the focus was overwhelmingly on Tehran's nuclear program. Obama reportedly was hesitant to expand the use of the new brand of weapon. In fact, the US is arguably the one country in the world most vulnerable to cyber attacks on its infrastructure. Pioneering such operations would give other countries and power groups a justification to target America.

For now I have to leave it at that. No weapon remains the unique property of any one country forever.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/06/blowback-might-it-spread-beyond-drones/257979/