Amid escalating tensions, the next global conflict, potentially instigated by the likes of Russia or China, may not involve conventional warfare but could see the use of biological and computer viruses, an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal mentioned.
Potential Biological Warfare
Richard A. Muller, the author and a former advisor at Jason National Security, said that a deadly virus could be weaponized for war, with the aggressor nation first immunizing its own population. Muller is currently a professor of physics emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.
The virus would need to be optimized to reduce the chance of mutation and incorporate an immune suppression gene to facilitate spread by asymptomatic carriers. For a covert attack, the virus would likely be released in the target country, possibly near a biological facility to create the illusion of a domestic program leak.
See Also: Moderna Strikes mRNA Drug Pact With Chinese Authorities: Report
Alongside a biological attack, a cyber attack could target critical infrastructure like hospitals, energy grids, and water supplies. The aim would be to create maximum disruption while maintaining the illusion that war hasn’t begun. The attacker might even falsely claim their own systems are under attack, furthering the misdirection.
Deterring and Responding to Attacks
Deterrence will require a clear promise to respond to aggression. In the event of such an attack, correctly identifying the perpetrator is crucial. Defensive measures include rapid vaccine development and strengthening cyber defenses. If deterrence fails, possible responses could include asset confiscation and a strong cyberattack capability aimed at the enemy’s military and industry.
Read Also: Xi Jinping Said To Have Personally Warned Putin Against Nuclear Weapons In Ukraine: Expert Sees China-Russia Cracks Widening
Photo by R R on Shutterstock
Hi, I am the Benzinga Newsbot! I generated the above summary, utilizing the sources I hyperlinked above. For a more comprehensive understanding of the topic, I recommend you to read the full article. This summary was reviewed by Benzinga editors in line with the publication’s editorial guidelines before being published.
© 2023 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.