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数字时代,战场无处不在
The battlefield is everywhere in the digital age

来源:FT中文网    2017-08-07 06:56



        The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is a terrifying piece of military kit. The stealth bomber can fly undetected for many thousands of miles to drop a thermonuclear bomb on pretty much any target on the planet. According to one government estimate, each B-2 in operation on average has cost the US Air Force $2.1bn to develop and deploy.        诺思罗普•格鲁曼公司(Northrop Grumman) B-2“幽灵”是一种可怕的军事装备。这种隐形轰炸机能够在不被发现的情况下飞行数千英里,向地球上几乎任何一处目标投放一枚热核炸弹。根据某一项政府估算,每架服役的B-2轰炸机的开发和部署花费了美国空军21亿美元。
        Clearly, very few countries have the money or the technology to invent such weapons systems. There are also very few occasions on which such weapons can be used (God willing). The US therefore remains dominant in what it terms its first and second offset strategies: clear supremacy in nuclear weapons and precision-guided missiles. But although such technologies remain necessary to offset the challenges of rival powers, they are no longer sufficient in our rapidly changing world.        显然,没有几个国家拥有发明这种武器系统的财力或技术。能够用上这种武器的场合也很少(但愿如此)。因此,美国在其所谓的第一、二次抵消战略中仍然占主导地位:也就是核武器和精确制导武器上的绝对优势。但尽管这些技术对抵消竞争势力的挑战依然必不可少,但在我们这个瞬息万变的世界中,仅仅拥有这些技术已经不再足够。
        Most defence spending in Nato countries still goes on crazily expensive metal boxes that you can drive, steer, or fly. But, as in so many other areas of our digital world, military capability is rapidly shifting from the visible to the invisible, from hardware to software, from atoms to bits. And that shift is drastically changing the equation when it comes to the costs, possibilities and vulnerabilities of deploying force.        北约(Nato)国家的大部分军费支出依然流向可以驾驶、航行或者飞行的天价金属盒子。但是,就像当今数字世界的其他许多领域一样,军事实力正快速地从可见范畴转向不可见范畴,从硬件转向软件,从原子转向比特。这些转变正在戏剧性改变关于动用武力的成本、可能性和脆弱程度的等式。
        Compare the expense of a B-2 bomber with the negligible costs of a terrorist hijacker or a state-sponsored hacker, capable of causing periodic havoc to another country’s banks or transport infrastructure — or even democratic elections.        与一架B-2轰炸机的花费相比,一名恐怖主义劫机者或者一名得到政府支持的黑客的花费可以忽略不计,而后者有能力时不时对另一个国家的银行、运输基础设施,甚至民主选举造成严重破坏。
        The US has partly recognised this changing reality and in 2014 outlined a third offset strategy, declaring that it must retain supremacy in next-generation technologies, such as robotics and artificial intelligence. The only other country that might rival the US in these fields is China, which has been pouring money into such technologies too.        美国已经在一定程度上认识到这一变化的现实,并在2014年出炉了第三次抵消战略,宣告美国必须在机器人和人工智能(AI)等下一代技术领域保持霸主地位。在这些领域,唯一有可能成为美国对手的国家是中国,中国也在大举投资于这些技术。
        But the third offset strategy only counters part of the threat in the age of asymmetrical conflict. In the virtual world, there are few rules of the game, little way of assessing your opponent’s intentions and capabilities, and no real clues about whether you are winning or losing.        但第三次抵消战略只能抵消不对称冲突时代的一部分威胁。虚拟世界几乎没有游戏规则,也几乎没有评估对手意图和能力的办法,甚至没有能够确定你在打赢还是落败的真正线索。
        Such murkiness is perfect for those keen to subvert the west’s military strength. China and Russia appear to understand this new world disorder far better than others — and are adept at turning the west’s own vulnerabilities against it.        这种混沌状态正合那些渴望颠覆西方军事实力的人的心意。中国和俄罗斯似乎远比其他人更了解这种新世界无序状态——并且擅长利用西方的脆弱性来做出对西方不利的事情。
        Chinese strategists were among the first to map out this new terrain. In 1999 two officers in the People’s Liberation Army wrote Unrestricted Warfare in which they argued that the three indispensable “hardware elements of any war” — namely soldiers, weapons and a battlefield — had changed beyond recognition. Soldiers included hackers, financiers and terrorists. Their weapons could range from civilian aeroplanes to net browsers to computer viruses, while the battlefield would be “everywhere”.        中国的战略家是首批划出这个新领域的人。1999年,中国两名解放军军官在所著的《超限战》(Unrestricted Warfare)中主张,任何战争不可或缺的三个硬件——士兵、武器和战场——已经发生了天翻地覆的变化。士兵可以包括黑客、金融家和恐怖分子。他们的武器可以从民用飞机、网络浏览器到计算机病毒等,而战场可以是任何地方。
        Russian strategic thinkers have also widened their conception of force. Moscow has used traditional military hardware in recent conflicts in Georgia and Ukraine. But it has also launched cyber attacks against both countries as well as Estonia and stands accused of hacking the US presidential election.        俄罗斯战略思想家也拓宽了他们对武力的看法。近年莫斯科在与格鲁吉亚和乌克兰的冲突中动用了传统军事装备。但莫斯科也对这两个国家以及爱沙尼亚发动了网络攻击,还被指对美国总统大选发动了黑客入侵。
        More broadly, it has been intensifying its KGB-derived “dezinformatsiya” operations as part of what Professor Mark Galeotti has called “the weaponisation of information”. According to Dmitry Kiselyov, the Russian television anchor and Kremlin propagandist, information wars have become “the main type of warfare”.        在整体层面,俄罗斯强化了当年克格勃(KGB)拿手的“假情报”(dezinformatsiya)行动,马克•加莱奥蒂(Mark Galeotti)教授称之为“信息的武器化”。为克里姆林宫摇旗呐喊的俄罗斯电视主持人德米特里•基谢廖夫(Dmitry Kiselyov)称,信息战已经成为“战争的主要类型”。
        Rosa Brooks, a former Pentagon official, has argued that the US military is far from the ideal organisation to respond to this multiplicity of challenges. Instead, she suggests that the defence of western societies and the projection of soft power need to be rethought as a collective national purpose. “Imagine a revamped public sector premised on the idea of universal service — an America in which every young man and woman spends a year or two in work that fosters national and global security,” she has written.        前五角大楼官员罗莎•布鲁克斯(Rosa Brooks)主张,美国军方远非应对这种多方位挑战的理想组织。相反,她提出防御西方社会和投射软实力需要被界定为一项国家集体宗旨,并据此重新思考。“想像一下以全民服役理念为前提进行的公共部门大改革——让美国每个年轻男女都花一两年时间投身于促进国家乃至全球安全的工作,”她写道。
        Such ambitions are academic while Donald Trump remains in the White House, committed as he is to increasing spending on old-fashioned military hardware. Besides, the Kremlin could hardly wish for a more compliant US president than one who has praised Vladimir Putin’s strong leadership, been hesitant to support Nato’s collective security and denounced the US media for peddling “fake news”.        在唐纳德•特朗普(Donald Trump)还主宰白宫的时候,从他对于提高传统军事装备支出的承诺看,这样的抱负只能是空谈。此外,克里姆林宫不可能期盼找到一个比特朗普更好对付的美国总统了——他曾赞扬弗拉基米尔•普京(Vladimir Putin)的强势领导、不太情愿支持北约的集体安全,并且谴责美国媒体兜售“假新闻”。
        In the realm of “memetic warfare”, as it has been called, the Kremlin would already appear to have won. But before it crows too loudly, Mr Putin’s entourage may reflect that the west depends far less on any one individual or institution than Russia. The US Congress is now pushing tougher sanctions against Moscow for meddling in the presidential election.        在所谓的“迷因战争”的领域,克里姆林宫似乎已经取得了胜利。但在它过于自鸣得意之前,普京的亲信们最好想一想这样一点:西方对任何个人或者机构的依赖程度远低于俄罗斯。美国国会正推动加大对俄罗斯制裁力度,以惩罚俄罗斯干涉美国大选。
        Moreover, the Russian president’s domestic opponents are also adopting new strategies. Earlier this year, the opposition leader Alexei Navalny released a slickly produced video highlighting the alleged corruption of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. It has since been watched almost 24m times on social media.        此外,俄罗斯总统的国内反对者也在采取新的策略。今年早些时候,反对派领袖阿列克谢•纳瓦尔尼(Alexei Navalny)发布了一段精心制作的视频,揭露俄罗斯总理德米特里•梅德韦杰夫(Dmitry Medvedev)涉嫌贪腐。该视频上在社交媒体上被观看近2400万次。
        No matter how well versed in the practice, authoritarian states are rapidly losing their own monopoly on the weaponisation of information.        无论多么深谙此道,威权国家正在快速失去它们在信息武器化上的垄断地位。
                
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