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Globalization and the Cyber World

The Accelerating Wave of Change

The phenomenon of globalization is a historic process that extends over millennia beginning with tribal migrations, trade, and military conquest. However, the pace of globalization has intensified over the past 100 years as transportation, industrial, and communications technologies revolutionized commerce around the globe.1 Shipping and travel times for goods and people, once required weeks or months, reduced to hours. Communication times compressed from days to seconds. This current epoch of globalization brought new challenges for strategic intelligence as the virtual compression of time along with new weapons technologies created short warning times and potentially cataclysmic threats. Nation-state economic interdependencies moved trade and fiscal information into the world of strategic intelligence. The most recent dimension to the globalization process is the digital revolution, which is changing every form of life including commerce, warfare, and culture. As online military colleges focus on security issues, the roles of globalization and new technologies become integral to intelligence, counterterrorism, and strategic security matters.

Adapting to Globalization and the Cyber World Threats

The globalization of the world economy resulted in complex sets of relationships from raw material and commodities providers to the final product assembly and sales. Contemporary integrated logistics are a marvel of international precision. The primary benefits tend to aggregate power for the larger advanced nations. Disruptions in the supply chains and production processes penalize all the members in the chain. However, the cyber world moves to a different set of rules. A large or small nation can field a potent cyber technology capability for legitimate or illegitimate purposes. Even non-state actors such as ISIS and Hezbollah can field powerful cyber organizations that use social media for propaganda and have cyber units that can hack sensitive networks in the large advanced nations, including the United States. The cyber technologies pose security threats from strategic existential problems to basic battlefield tactical advantages, as well as major problems with international crime. Among the many peacetime examples illustrating the cyber threat, the Chinese and Russians provide evidence of the current cyber vulnerabilities. The Chinese hacked into U.S. government systems and defense industries networks to steal sensitive data on a wide range of U.S. weapons systems.2Russian cyber forces hacked into the American White House digital networks to surreptitiously extract data.3 While information spying is a dangerous threat, there are forms of cyber warfare that rival weapons of mass destruction in effect. A successful cyber attack on the U.S power grid would produce catastrophic consequences for the country as all systems dependent on electric power would cease functioning.4 No fuel could be pumped for transportation, heating, and industry. Communications and computer systems would fail, shutting down the financial systems at all levels. All levels of medical care and medicines would be severely impacted. Even assuming a relatively rapid recovery of the power grid, the economic disruption and chaos would produce monumental losses. A sophisticated attack that delayed a power grid recovery would produce consequences that mimic a major nuclear attack without the physical damage. The food supply would quickly become problematic and non-existent in some areas. Thus, the strategic intelligence challenge in the cyber area should be a critical priority for the country.

The Personal Opportunities and the Requisite Responsibilities

The expanded number and complexities of security threats facing the United States results in a continuing need for career personnel in intelligence, counterterrorism, law enforcement, and security protection. All these job opportunities require individuals who have a solid educational background that matches the job requirements. Online military colleges are an excellent resource to obtain the specialized knowledge for intelligence and security jobs. The premier online military colleges provide a focus in the curriculum along with select faculties to provide the education that includes practical knowledge along with theory. These select faculties include instructors that have ‘been there, done that’ as operatives in dangerous real world security situations. Individuals graduating from these leading online military colleges go forward with an education and a personal set of functioning capabilities.

Resources

1. A Quick Guide to the World History of Globalization. (2015). Retrieved: www.sas.upenn.edu
2. Nakashima, E. (2013). Confidential report lists U.S. weapons system designs compromised by Chinese cyberspies. Washington Post. Retrieved: www.washingtonpost.com
3. Bloomberg Business. (2015). Russian Hackers Targeted White House Data. Retrieved: www.bloomberg.com
4. Gertz, W. (2014). U.S. power grid defenseless from attacks. Washington Times. Retrieved: www.washingtontimes.com

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