Chinese Supercomputers Threaten U.S. Security

One part of where this article goes wrong is the first opening sentence, as China has already eclipsed the United States in supercomputer technology.

However, at least Americans know who they can thank for giving China their threatening capability: Bill and Hillary Clinton through the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Another component of the problem is that the American security apparatus believes in the simple ‘patch and pray‘ fix due to high costs. In other words, they’re also reactive and not proactive… a grave difference.


Supercomputers play a vital role in the design, development and analysis of almost all modern weapons systems, said a report by the National Security Agency-Energy Department based on an assessment of China’s new supercomputer called the TaihuLight. Photo by: David Mercer


China is eclipsing the United States in developing high-speed supercomputers used to build advanced weapons, and the loss of American leadership in the field poses a threat to U.S. national security.

That’s the conclusion of a recent joint National Security Agency-Energy Department study, based on an assessment of China’s new supercomputer called the TaihuLight.

National security requires the best computing available, and loss of leadership in [high-performance computing] will severely compromise our national security,” the report warns.

Supercomputers play a “vital role” in the design, development and analysis of almost all modern weapons systems, including nuclear weapons, cyberwarfare capabilities, ships, aircraft, communications security, missile defense, precision-strike capabilities and hypersonic weapons, the report said.

China is rapidly developing hypersonic strike missiles that can deliver conventional and nuclear payloads by maneuvering past advanced missile defenses.

“Loss of leadership in [high-performance computing] could significantly reduce the U.S. nuclear deterrence and the sophistication of our future weapons systems,” the report says.

“Conversely, if China fields a weapons system with new capabilities based on superior [high-performance computing], and the U.S. cannot accurately estimate its true capabilities, there is a serious possibility of over- or underestimating the threat.”

A copy of the 18-page report, “U.S. Leadership in High Performance Computing (HPC): A Report from the NSA-DOE Technical Meeting on High Performance Computing,” dated Dec. 1, has been obtained by Inside the Ring.

Chinese supremacy in computer capabilities also could produce distortions in allocating defense funds for U.S. research and development, and strategic policymaking and result in “incorrect responses to world events,” the report said.

Currently, the United States has a cost-effective supercomputer capability. But loss of U.S. leadership in the field would result in acquisition of supercomputers in ways similar to Pentagon acquisition of aircraft carriers — at vastly increased costs.

For industrial applications, if the United States were to become reliant on Chinese supercomputers, it “could threaten the loss of intellectual property and competitive edge.”

“Personal email and private information, social networks and the emerging Internet of Things are all subject to even greater privacy risks if offshore entities have superior HPC analytics or control the data/information markets,” the report said.

The report called for a surge in U.S. government investment and action in supercomputing, including the priorities outlined in the 2016 National Strategic Computing Initiative Plan.

Energy Department national laboratories and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity are working on cutting-edge supercomputers.

The study was based on a two-day conference in September of some 60 experts, including 40 from U.S. government agencies, 10 from the technology industry and 10 from academia and other organizations.


The Pentagon is two years late in supplying Congress with a study on new strategies for countering unconventional warfare threats posed by Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, chairwoman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on emerging threats, pressed a senior Pentagon official on the subject during a hearing Tuesday. The study was required in 2015 legislation.

“This strategy, which is now almost two years late, ultimately can help provide a way to ensure that our ends, ways and means are aligned to help counter these unconventional threats,” said Ms. Stefanik, New York Republican.

Unconventional warfare is the use of nonkinetic warfare capabilities ranging from cyber and electronic attacks to “influence operations” using political, media and legal means.

Russia used hybrid warfare to take over Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and its cyber-enabled influence operation targeting the 2016 U.S. presidential election. China has been using similar information operations in its bid to gradually take control of the South China Sea.

Examples of Iranian information operations have included cyberattacks on U.S. banks and a waterway control system in upstate New York.

North Korea has used extensive cyberattacks to achieve objectives — including the cyberattack on Sony Picture Entertainment and cyberattacks on banks in Asia that netted the regime in Pyongyang tens of million of dollars.


Full article: Chinese supercomputers threaten U.S. security (The Washington Times)

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