Russia claims it has started using hypersonic missiles in Ukraine. These are missiles that travel at ten times the speed of sound and can evade defenses. Russia says it has blown up a Ukrainian fuel depot and an ammunition site with hypersonic missiles, marking their first use in a war. U.S. experts say there is less here than meets the eye, with Russia’s technology dating from the 1980s.
But Russia also said one reason it started using hypersonics is to deter others from entering the conflict. Russia is also trying to deter opposition to its war aims by rattling the nuclear saber. Putin has threatened any country that interferes with it in Ukraine with “consequences greater than any you have faced in history.” He put his nuclear forces on high alert. A liberal magazine called Putin’s nuclear threats a “wake-up call for the world.”
And, indeed, they are. There are more important things to worry about in this world than giving eight-year-olds access to pornography in the school library. Far more important, wouldn’t you say?
Like Russia and China cozying up to each other to promote authoritarianism as a model to the world to replace Western individual freedom and self-government. Or how Russia could knock out NATO and Europe with a single electro-magnetic pulse [EMP] attack. Or how we have irresponsibly been transferring military technology to Russia and China for decades.
Or how China has been militarizing the islands it built in the South China Sea to project its power throughout the region. China had promised not to do this, but the islands are now fortified with “anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile systems, laser and jamming equipment and fighter jets,” threatening nearby countries. China is spending big to upgrade its military, committing $270 billion to the effort this year. China is now warning U.S. warships to stay away from contested areas.
China also claims it has captured a powerful NSA cyberspy tool. It says the tool “controlled global internet equipment and stole large amounts of users’ information.” China also says it was used to spy on government departments, high-tech companies and military-related institutes in China. China implicitly threatened to retaliate, “turning military confrontation in cyberspace into a ‘zero-sum’ game.” This from a country that seeks world domination and believes it is already at war with us. The contest in cyberspace is only in its second inning.
China is contending in another space, and there we are losing badly. I’m reading an important book right now called Political Warfare: Strategies for Combating China’s Plan to “Win without Fighting” by Professor Kerry Gershanek. He lays out how the Chinese have developed very sophisticated influence and elite capture operations around the world, including in the United States. We used to have the capability to counter such techniques, but we let political warfare go after the Cold War and it’s no longer even being taught in our defense universities. We better get a move on in this department, Gershanek argues, or we will fall to Chinese subversion without them firing a shot.
So, whether it’s Russian nuclear threats, Chinese militarization and subversion, increasingly sophisticated North Korean missiles that can reach the U.S., or the need for us to develop laser missile defense, one can easily see it is far less important to be Woke, than wary and prepared against our adversaries in an increasingly dangerous world.