Cold War

(External Content) Cyber Deterrence Theory

Abstract: This study endeavors to identify the shortfalls of the United States current utilization of deterrence theory in light of a growing amount of asymmetric warfare, warfare from afar, and cyber warfare that may rise to the level of weapons of mass destruction level. It proposes that this deterrence theory should be modernized to less developing a strategic common practice where some aggression is tolerated, and intolerable acts of aggression are retaliated with through diplomatic and economic tools against individuals involved within the organization perpetuating the aggression.

Citation: Hallock, Danial (2018).  "Modernizing Deterrence Theory." AMU. Accessed at:

Related Articles: Paradox of ProgressRedefining the Cold War; Syria, North Korea, and Trump

Abstract: This study identifies prior authoritative research into attribution assessments, their shortfalls, and recommends several potential avenues of improvement, namely the targeting of individual persons within non-state actors and advanced persistent threat actors conducting cyber attacks against the U.S. and her allies utilizing prior research into pyschology and motivational theories. 

Citation: Hallock, Danial (2018).  "Solving the Issue of Attribution, Targeting, and Retaliation." AMU. Accessed at:

Related Articles: When Bots Become Bombs, Paradox of Progress, The Accidental World War

Paradox of Progress

Paradox of Progress

Every five years the Director of National Intelligence releases a pretty substantial report on growing trends and they've recently released one called "The Paradox of Progress."  It's a fairly substantial report with numerous implications on American geopolitical positioning based on the assessments and assumptions made within it, and it's a report that most Americans will never consider reading. So I wanted to unpack it, key point by key point, and provide context as much as possible to help at least a handful of Americans slug through it.

Bush, Xi, and McCain walk into an Auditorium

Bush, Xi, and McCain walk into an Auditorium

The face of conflict is changing.  While leaders like Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump still see conflict in the traditional light, many of their peers - and certainly the next generation - see conflict differently:  Cultural, Economical, and Ecological. The kinetic warfare of the 19th and 20th century is a relic of past generations, a fact never more poignant than after recent speeches by three prominent politicians across two countries.

Redefining the Cold War

Redefining the Cold War

Consider the following questions:

  • How does a NATO country, like Belgium or Spain, raise its defense spending rapidly over the short term (i.e. 4 years) without incurring the risk associated with research and development or costs associated with increased manpower?
  • How does a businessman-turned-politician drive down the costs of a weapon's program whose costs are "out of control?"
  • How does one make good on promises to "bring manufacturing jobs back home?" to appease Economic Security voters?
  • How does an administration, in dire need of showing strength against a country who allegedly helped it get elected do so without leading to an accidental international incident?

The answer to all of these is through Foreign Military Sales; the one thing that the U.S. government has been decidedly good at over the last several decades.  Currently, the most prolific export of the U.S. military sale market is the F-35 and it has been catapulted into the limelight as a cornerstone in the next Cold War.

Nationalism: The Rise of the Warrior Class Post-9/11

Nationalism:  The Rise of the Warrior Class Post-9/11

I can no longer open an essay about September 11, 2001 with "We all know where we were that faithful day," because an increasingly large number of individuals are coming of age without having any discernible memory of a life prior to the World Trade Center attack.  This generation, even moreso than mine, has always lived in the Post-9/11 world, and embodies the concept behind my popular essay "Generation at War" better than my generation ever could.  

These individuals lack the pre-9/11 context in which to frame their new world views, and as such will rely heavily on the narrative that generations before them have provided. As a result, it becomes increasingly important that, as we round the fifteenth anniversary of this tragic event, we pause for some introspection in order to better understand the narratives that we are providing.

Understanding RADAR and "Stealth" Aircraft

Understanding RADAR and "Stealth" Aircraft

You have no doubt heard of the F-35 or F-22 and wondered why these aircraft are so damn expensive, and why they are so controversial.  I can't seek to answer those questions for you, but I can help to explain the academics behind fifth generation aircraft and their low observable (or "stealth") technology.

Low observable technology is important for several reasons, not least of which is the simple fact that you cannot shoot what you do not know exists.  Hollywood movies like to highlight the importance of "heat seeking missiles" (professionally known as "infrared (IR) missiles"), but most modern warfare is conducted now beyond visual range and relies heavily on radar guided missiles.  These are an impressive jump in technology, but they do rely heavily on your ability to detect the target on your radar.

More likely than not, the existence of fifth generation aircraft is signaling the start of a new arms race in which the four major super powers (European Union, United States, Russia, and China) are modernizing their air forces to ensure their pilots are able to fly longer and strike further against any adversary they may encounter.  This recent push to modernize is likely an attempt for those powers to retain their competitive edge in a global deterrent based strategy similar to that of the Cold War. However, unlike the Cold War, these weapons can be used and exported without fearing for their direct contribution to humanity's destruction