Why the Battlefield Is Everywhere – Forward Observer

Why the Battlefield Is Everywhere

Good morning. It’s Sam Culper with this week’s Forward Observer Dispatch.

Last week, I wrote about the reasons why conflict is virtually certain to escalate with China, leading to either a shooting war or a financial, monetary, and cyber conflict, which could lead to a shooting war. The history lesson is that monetary wars lead to military wars.

Either way, this is going to be a messy 10-20 years.

I’m picking my way through another chapter of Unrestricted Warfare, the 1999 essay/manual written by two People’s Liberation Army officers.

I want to share a key takeaway from the chapter:

The authors discuss how technology is changing the nature of warfare, from a “line” to an “area” and eventually to the entire world. Here’s the money quote:

“Just think, if it’s even possible to start a war in a computer room or a stock exchange that will send an enemy country to its doom, then is there [a] non-battlespace anywhere?”

“Where is the battlefield?” the authors ask. “The answer would be: Everywhere.”

The authors go on to write that, in light of this, the future protagonist of war is not the professional soldier, but the hacker.

This is exactly the kind of mindset and activity we’re seeing today, re: Chinese hacking campaigns.

At some point in the next four years, perhaps coinciding with the 2024 election, the U.S. could be forced to decide and act on going to war with China over Taiwan. I’m not advocating for or against it, but simply pointing out that a decision will be made.

This is one reason why Trump tried to pull U.S. Forces from the ends of the Earth.

Chinese military leaders privately say they’re within two years of being able to invade Taiwan.

The commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is requesting missiles be deployed to Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines to counteract what he describes as a shifting balance of military power that has become “more unfavorable” for the United States.

I want to encourage you, if haven’t already, to consider how prepared you are for systems disruption. If we go to war with China, we’re going to feel the effects here at home: disruptions to power, internet, communications, transportation, the stock market and financial services, etc.

According to Unrestricted Warfare, the key to beating the United States is to make them prioritize self-preservation ahead of geopolitical goals. Prepare accordingly.

Always Out Front,

Samuel Culper


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Samuel Culper is a former Intelligence NCO and contractor. Iraq(x1)/Afghanistan(x2). He now studies intelligence and warfare.

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