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View Poll Results: How much did Russian meddling affect your vote?
My vote was severely impacted by Russian meddling. 4 14.81%
Russian meddling moderately affected my vote. 0 0%
My vote was unswayed by said meddling. 19 70.37%
I am uncertain to what extend my vote was meddled with. 4 14.81%
Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-20-2018, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by SGaynor View Post
This past week I spent a lot of time driving - took the kids to NY/NJ to see family/NYC - so I was listening to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast on WWI (Blueprint for Armageddon, it's 6 parts, each at least 3 hours long). Very worthwhile.

At one point, he was talking about how the Germans decided that using the U-boats to attack ALL shipping to Britain/France from the US (unrestricted submarine warfare) was the advent of total war - that the people behind the front lines were legitimate targets because they supported (through farming/food, munitions, etc.) the people at the front. The goal, on both sides (the British had already blockaded Germany, and those people were starving) was to put enough suffering on the people (including war casualties) that their society would collapse and they would have to sue for peace. Which is precisely what happened with Russia. Both sides thought each other was close to collapse, and they all were.
So I'd argue that wasn't the advent of 'total war' at least not in how practitioners and those that read Dead Carl and such would look at it-plenty of other examples throughout history of the warfare spectrum going closer to total well prior to WWI's version of it.

Now was it truly industrial war? Yes.

There are lessons there that I'll discuss in the response to the rest of your post.

Originally Posted by SGaynor View Post
That got me thinking about our current state of affairs with cyber attacks (from Russia, but also China, NK).

What if the US society could be brought to it knees by cyber warfare vs conventional warfare? What if Russia, China, etc. could cause our society to collapse, and THEN walk in with troops? vs start a war with conventional troops and bolster the attacks with cyber? Could they render our military might useless without even "firing a shot?"

Are we at the beginning of a new type of warfare? Is the US prepared?
Cyber means everything to everyone now but tell me how we're going to get brought to our knees by a non-kinetic attack? Isn't going to happen. Just shut off the internet, people will be sad, and life will go on. As it relates to China, they can't afford to shut it off any more than we can. Russia and NK, well they aren't really superpowers as the story Gimmiebak relates that illustrates when you get a little ways away from Russia they aren't nearly as badass as all the Putinfanbois make them out to be. Mostly b/c of training, and sustainment.

Originally Posted by SGaynor View Post
I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of this (some war college has probably already gamed it out many times), but it was frightening to think of how vulnerable to cyber attack the West is. China and Russia (definitely not NK) are probably not as interconnected as we are as a society and dependent on computers for everyday operations. How fragile is society today if we lost power for weeks? Gasoline and other basics? Food? I've always believed that modern society is held together by the thinnest of threads - that most people would not know how to survive without modern conveniences - take those away and people will revert to the time of the savages: "I'll take what I want, and don't care about who I have to kill to get it."

All the more reason why we need to understand what Russia has done, and continues to do, versus calling it "fake news" and keeping our heads in the sand.
Take a look at WWI and WWII, when you start pushing societies they don't break-the fight back. Our biggest weaknesses are, in many ways, our biggest strengths ironically.

If you want to look at the changing character of war there is a lot to be said there-but the nature of it is timeless.

Pick up MCWP-1, Warfighting, you'd prob enjoy the read if you haven't read through it. It will also explain a lot about the SecDef, CJCS, and the like
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