Rick and I often talk about the end of the world. Not so much zombies and alien invasions, but computers and invasions of a different kind. It’s been commonly accepted that nuclear weapons are the greatest military weapon that any country could possess, and as far as the logic goes, it makes sense. A nuclear bomb, or any kind of bomb with a radius measured in miles, would cause the most physical damage of any object mankind possesses. However, when we talk about our greatest rival on the global stage (China), Rick assures me that no one should worry about nuclear bombs. Or, to be more clear, China has nothing to fear from us.

Do you know why?

Because China has provided key components of our computer systems, our missiles, and our computer security. The “made in China” label that’s become a joke and commonplace to us here is probably on the inside of some of our most important equipment. Computer security? We don’t even need to be hacked. We invited a foreign country (with which we are at peace, but peace isn’t exactly eternal) into our innermost mechanics.

Now, usually these conversations between Rick and I are our way of speculating about the role of information security in the future. Physical destruction is secondary to economic or computer systems destruction (or infiltration) these days, so we often discuss how that plays out. An innocent outsource job to a private manufacturer in China may prove more harmful in the long run than any missile attack. And any of our missile attacks may turn to duds in the air, thanks to our manufacturing. Would you make weapons for your rival without ensuring your safety? I don’t think so.

Today, we learned that our speculation, however, is not just empty talk. This article is about how Los Alamos National Laboratory, the place where the original nuclear bomb was created, has replaced two crucial, Chinese-made parts with American-made ones. The reason? Because it posed a potential “national security threat.”

Ultimately, it’s a good indication of where as a nation we recognize where the potential threats lie. As much as our state agencies may be blowing it on computer security from time to time, at least there’s a measure of strong thinking on the national stage.

And just for fun, here’s an infographic on China and the US’s stats!  



U.S. vs China: Superpower Showdown
Source: Master of Finance Degrees