Bolt Out of the Blue: Nuclear Attack Warning in the Era of Information and Cyber Warfare

Privates George E. Elliott Jr. and Joseph L. Lockard were sitting in a monitoring van as their antenna scanned for airplanes on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941. Given the 23-year state of peace, Elliott and Lockard were using their radar more for practice than true defensive awareness. As they waited for a truck to drive them to lunch, a blip appeared indicating upwards of 50 aircraft 137-miles out. “It was the largest group I had ever seen on the oscilloscope,” Lockard said later. He ran tests for faulty equipment and found nothing. He relayed their information to headquarters and was told it was friendly B-17 aircraft. Within minutes, 353 Imperial Japanese aircraft attacked Pearl Harbor.

The objective of a surprise attack is to stun the opponent long enough to prevent an effective defense and diminish any attempted counterstrike. History has shown how the very act of being caught

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