food for thought

shapj@us.ibm.com shapj@us.ibm.com
Thu, 18 Nov 1999 14:05:00 -0500


> The good news is, China wouldn't attack the financial
> services sector ...[until] ... they'd extracted their
> profits.

Marc:

You seem to be making two profoundly questionable "rational actor"
assumptions.

First, you seem to assume that their attack would be globally optimized.
More likely is that some local general will initiate an attack on purely
tactical grounds without considering profit extraction at all.

Second, you assume that the initiator's perceived source of value lies in
the financial services sector.  Were *I* to mount this attack, I'ld nail
the markets, initiate a run on the federal reserve, then take out the major
east and west coastal power grids, then the major telephone switching
nodes.  If I were serious, I'ld do it in January or February. When it was
all over you'ld be using dollars for wallpaper, not commerce. Remember what
happened when the Great China Railway was nationalized?

As recent info-warfare simulations against COMPACFLT demonstrated pretty
conclusively, this is all within the realm of what the right 7 to 9 person
info warfare team could accomplish. Warships without coordination and
soldiers whose supply chains cannot be organized aren't very useful.

Given your background in command and control systems, I'm surprised at your
optimism.  Am I missing something?

Jonathan S. Shapiro, Ph. D.
Research Staff Member
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
Email: shapj@us.ibm.com
Phone: +1 914 784 7085  (Tieline: 863)
Fax: +1 914 784 7595