The Trojan's New Horses
By Hal Lindsey
Is an American computer virus responsible for the many failed North Korean missile tests? In March, the New York Times reported, “Three years ago, President Barack Obama ordered Pentagon officials to step up their cyber and electronic strikes against North Korea’s missile program in hopes of sabotaging test launches in their opening seconds.”
North Korea’s missile program started with a surprising level of success. But in the last three years, whether caused by U.S. computer sabotage or not, they have had a stunning number of test launch failures.
The experts say that North Korean scientists learn from every failure. While that’s usually true, it may not be in this case. The scientists may already know the problem. It could be that their impetuous young “Supreme Leader,” Kim Jung-un, is pressing too hard, not giving them the time needed to do the job. If that’s the case, the question is not whether the scientists are learning the lesson, but is he?
Kim might also be sabotaging himself in another way. He has a reputation for impromptu executions and imprisonments. He may be depleting the talent pool he needs in order to get his missiles working.
President Obama’s 2014 order for sabotaging missile tests involves techniques that are considered “left of launch.” That means they start before the missiles leave the ground, or shortly after take-off.
While bolstering missile defense systems in Alaska and California, President George W. Bush also used a “left of launch” approach in dealing with North Korea. He ordered that the supply chain of missile parts be sabotaged, so that the end product would be full of defects.
Supply lines for rockets go back years. For instance, two minor mistakes caused Apollo 13’s near catastrophe in 1970. Both mistakes happened years before the actual space flight. In other words, the recent test launch failures in North Korea might be attributable to presidential orders from Obama, Bush, or both.
In the recent test failures, the North Koreans were trying to do something relatively simple. It’s still rocket science, but launching a weapon from the Korean Peninsula to the Sea of Japan should be fairly routine.
Many of North Korea’s scientists once worked for the Soviet Union — a nation that put the first man in space, and had a long history of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Employing such knowledgeable people led to unprecedented success in the early stages of the North Korean program.
Usually, missile technology testing shows improvement over time. But for the North, it’s been a downhill slide, especially for the last few years.
On the surface, this may seem heartening to Americans. But look a little deeper. Despite billions in defense spending, the United States is vulnerable to the same sort of mischief wreaking havoc in North Korea.
No one has the cash to compete with the United States military budget, but writing computer viruses and trojan horses doesn’t take much cash. It takes talent and desire. Computer scientists, software engineers, and hackers are cheap compared to aircraft carriers, cruise missiles, and high end military aircraft. Yet all of those big-ticket hardware items are vulnerable to computer scientists, software engineers, and hackers.
A twenty-year-old with a knack for it, could conceivably disable a fleet.
We live in a new era of warfare. The muscle of heavy artillery still has its place, but the computer code necessary for command and control of that artillery had better be bulletproof. The problem is, no one can ever know for certain that it is actually secure until it is successfully used.
These facts should rip away the illusion that American military might makes it invulnerable to attack. The U.S. today is as invulnerable as the Titanic was unsinkable.
But that’s really always been true. Psalms 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (NASB) It was speaking primarily of Israel during the reign of King David, but the truth contained in those words applies to all peoples of all times — including the United States today.
Psalms 127:1 says, “Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.” (NASB) At any given moment, thousands of young men and women around the world stand watch for the United States of America. Many of them are a long way from home, doing jobs with far too little thanks. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate each one.
Yet, according to this scripture and others, if America does not turn to God, our warriors’ heroic efforts will wind up being for nothing. These are the days to humble ourselves and pray. These are not the days for bragging celebrations, but for humility before the God who created all things.