The commander of the US navy has ordered an unprecedented worldwide “operational pause” as analysts warn Chinese hackers have breached US military security, causing two recent US naval collisions.
A report prepared for the Pentagon and officials from government and the defense industry in 2013 warned that the nation’s most sensitive advanced weapons systems had been compromised by Chinese hackers, and four years later the Pentagon’s worst fears are being realized.
The USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker early on Monday, sending water flooding into the hull and sparking an international search for the missing men. The accident – the second in two months involving a destroyer with the 7th Fleet – caused Admiral John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, to order an immediate halt to operations.
“This trend demands more forceful action,” he said. “As such, I have directed an operational pause be taken in all of our fleets around the world.”
What you are not being told about the navy collisions
More than two dozen major weapons systems whose designs were breached in 2013 were programs critical to U.S. missile defenses and navy ships, according to a Washington Post report that detailed previously undisclosed sections of a confidential report prepared for Pentagon leaders by the Defense Science Board.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2017
Experts warned that the electronic intrusions give China access to advanced technology that could accelerate the development of its weapons systems and weaken the U.S. military advantage in a future conflict.
And now the Chinese chickens are coming home to roost. The US navy has been effectively neutered and withdrawn from action until the problem can be resolved.
How did this happen?
This electronic intrusions were a huge issue a few years ago, with military experts warning that the practice of having all of our computer chips built in China was a disaster waiting to happen. Because we are too cheap to pay Americans to do the work, we have allowed China access to the backbone of our systems.
Now we are paying the price for our ignorance. Not only did we compromise our security, we gave China our technology to build these chips. There is a reason that China is now operating prototype jets and ships just like our own. They stole the technology.
And as was warned in 2013, they now have the ability to control our warships, causing embarrassing and operationally disastrous collisions in open water.
Jim Mattis, the defence secretary, has announced that an urgent review is being carried out, with the intention of getting the US navy back on the water as soon as possible.
“He [Admiral John Richardson] has put together a broader inquiry to look into these incidents,” said Mr Mattis.
A major overhaul of procedure will be required.