There can be no denying the importance of cyber-conflict and the potential of cyber-war in the 21st century. What was once restricted to the screenplays of Hollywood science fiction writers now seems to be an essential component of any modern conflict. In fact, as our readers will see with this anthology from the Modern Diplomacy, cyber weapons may indeed eventually come to be seen as a preferred method for initially waging war and starting conflict, ultimately replacing the more tried-and-true traditional kinetic operations. We investigate this reality here by looking at the three dominant global players responsible for most of the major cyber initiatives taking place today: the United States, the People’s Republic of China, and the Russian Federation.
We call this triumvirate the ‘hacking nexus’ because it is difficult to research any major cyber event in the 21st century that has not involved one or more of these three rivals. And these events do not transpire in a political vacuum: they are indicative of a new technological foreign policy that signals these three countries in particular will be able to infiltrate and insert themselves into the affairs of just about anyone, if they so wished. This kind of invasive power needs to be chronicled and analyzed and this anthology is but the first small step to open that discussion. As is always our style, Modern Diplomacy does not label any one country the villain or any state the ‘good guy.’ We do not believe the world of cyber actually has black hats and white hats (pun intended). Instead, we believe the world of cyber makes politics, war, and diplomacy a sometimes hopeless and long-lasting cloudy grey. But as is always the case with research from the Modern Diplomacy, it is our faith in bringing complex issues into greater detail, and contributing knowledge to subjects that seem to enjoy remaining obfuscated, that gives us hope for finding new opportunities for understanding, collaboration, and conflict resolution.
So, we hope you enjoy this effort and truly find the information contained within a step in the right direction for making you more informed, more enlightened, and more willing to investigate the problem deeply, accurately, and powerfully. In a world full of misinformation and disinformation, may the readers of our anthologies be the light shining such shadows away into oblivion.