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The scene after a driver mowed down people on a riverfront bike path, killing eight and injuring 12, New York City, Nov. 1, 2017 (AP photo by Mark Lennihan).

America Isn’t Ready for the ‘Weaponization Of Everything’

Friday, June 8, 2018

During a January talk in Israel, retired Gen. David Petraeus, the former CIA director, warned that the world had entered an age of the “weaponization of everything.” What he meant was that weapons are no longer simply the traditional tools of war—guns, missiles, warplanes, naval ships and so forth—but everyday objects that can be adapted to damage, destroy or kill. Think, for instance, of the hijacked airliners in the Sept. 11 attacks, the increasingly common use of trucks and cars for terrorism, and the kinds of aggressive information warfare conducted through cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns that exploit “fake news” and vulnerabilities on social media.

This idea of the “weaponization of everything” has gained a foothold among security experts, but so far it has not drawn the attention of the American public and its elected leaders. This is worrisome and may leave the United States unprepared for an intricately dangerous future. ...

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