Last month, a survey showed that the Ukraine crisis might be pushing us towards World War 3. As tensions in Europe continue to rise, authors Peter Singer and August Cole discussed their novel Ghost Fleet (via ExtremeTech), which is about the next great conflict, at the South by Southwest Interactive 2015. Singer consults to major government security agencies while Cole is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.
World War 3 to be fought in ‘space and cyberspace’
While discussing the book, the two defense experts shed some light on weapons that could be used in World War 3. In the first World War, tanks and fighter planes were widely used. These two weapons were widely improved by World War II. The second World War also saw a number of other deadly weapons such as nuclear bombs and self-propelled missiles.
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Singer and Cole said space and cyberspace will figure prominently in World War 3. Earlier this year, secret documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden showed that the group of Five Eyes (US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) have laid the groundwork for massive cyberattacks on any country at anytime. The NSA and other U.S. security agencies have extremely strong cyber tactics.
But China has a strong team of hackers that experts believe can disrupt major services in the United States. We are not just talking about stolen files or leaked Hollywood movies. They can potentially take down the entire power grids, phone networks, transport systems, and virtually everything in between. The recent attack on Sony caused a huge economic loss. In a war scenario, a similar attack on a few hundred businesses and government agencies may bring down the entire economic activity.
Autonomous drones to identify and attack enemies
Another new weapon that could be used in World War 3 is drone. United States has successfully used drones in targeted situations. The next step in this technology is autonomous drones that will use artificial intelligence (AI) to identify and target enemies. Though it may seem scary at first, it is likely to happen as major powers continue to try to reduce the number of human casualties in wars. The U.S. Air Force is currently testing unmanned fighters and bombers.