The interesting thesis behind his talk goes like this: There are defensive and offensive technologies. During times, where defensive technologies were strong, the world lived relatively peaceful. In contrast, offensive technologies increase acts of war.
His example were:
- Fortification favors defense. Countries with excelled at fortification, could prosper in peace. Europe for example was quite peaceful in 1650-1750.
- Nuclear weapons also favor defense, since an attack would surely result in the destruction of both opponents. There was (only) the cold war between CCCP and USA between 1960-1990.
- Tanks favor offense, which enables the Blitzkrieg, which sparked the second world war.
So how can we classify cyber weapons?
- Offensive and defensive setups cannot be distuingished. The servers are the same. In contrast, you can find evidence, if a country starts building nuclear weapons.
- When under attack, you do not know who attacks you. This means that your allies cannot help you, so simply accusing somebody, will just isolate you.
This means a pre-emptive attack is the best strategy.
We can already see military forces planing for such scenarios. Does this mean we enter a new age of instability threatening our relatively peaceful western world?