Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do about It is Richard A. Clarke’s and Robert A. Knake’s all-encompassing tome on current and future cyber security threats. The authors wrote the book in a clear and concise manner so that anyone can quickly see how vulnerable modern society is to this emerging threat. This book is a must read for laymen, technologists, and national security practitioners.
Style – 10.00
The authors’ style is entertaining, clear, and concise. It presents a great mix of anecdotes, descriptions of cyber war terminology, and policy recommendations. It is also very easy to read and understand. As such, I rate the authors’ style a 10.0 out of ten.
Structure – 9.00
The book is well-organized, and contains eight chapters. The first several chapters provide anecdotes about previous cyber attacks and tactics, and describe the nature of the cyber security threat. The final chapters provide practical policy recommendations to help the United States counter the cyber security threat.
Overall, the book receives a rating of 9.0 out of ten for structure.
Substance – 10.00
Cyber War provides many examples of how governments have already employed cyber attacks in various military and intelligence operations. These stories include the covert American destruction of a Trans-Siberian pipeline in the 1980s, causing a detonation observable from space. They also detail the Chinese hacking of Google. These real-world examples make it easier for readers to understand the dire nature of the cyber threat.
As such, the book’s substance rates a solid 10.0.
Sentiment – 10.00
This book seamlessly marries technology trends with history and military tactics. It also offers potential policy solutions to this emerging issue.
As I am a bit of a policy wonk, I loved this book. Therefore, I rate the book’s sentiment a 10.00.
Significance – 9.00
Because this book highlights what may turn out to be one of the most dangerous threats to modern societies, I rate the book 9.0 out of ten in terms of its significance.
Overall Rating – 9.60
The book’s overall rating is 9.60 out of ten, after assigning the appropriate weights to each item. If you have any interest in the history of cyber war, the threats cyber war poses, or what steps the United States government should take to prevent or win a cyber war, this book is a must read.