“The ‘wizard war’ in the Ukraine conflict, a covert digital campaign that has never been detailed before, is the big reason why David is beating Goliath“. Thus the famous journalist and writer David Ignatius in a report in the Washington Post from Ukraine in which he tells how “Ukrainians are combining their courageous fighting spirit with the most sophisticated intelligence and combat management software ever used in the field of battle”. And so they are proving that “a motivated partner like Ukraine can win if it receives unparalleled technology from the West”.
“Tenacity, will and the exploitation of the latest technology has given the Ukrainians a decisive advantage: we are seeing how wars will be fought and won in the coming years,” General Mark Milley, chief of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Ignatius. “The power of advanced algorithmic warfare systems is now so great that it is equal to having tactical nukes against an adversary who only has nukes. The public tends to underestimate this, our adversaries don’t anymore,” explains Alex Karp , chief executive of Palantir, the American tech company, which began its activity working with the CIA on counterterrorism tools, which is supplying software to Ukraine.
“For us it’s a matter of survival, our goal is to maximize target acquisition,” explained Stepan, the fictional name given to a Ukrainian officer. A computer programmer in civilian life, he showed Ignatius how software works to detect enemy targets.
journalist, who was able to visit Palantir’s offices in Kiev, explains how the software supplied “allows US allies to use ubiquitous, irrepressible sensors which, by surrounding every possible battlefield, create a truly lethal ‘kill chain'” .
Ignatius does not hide that the company has been the object of criticism in recent years, also due to the support given by its co-founder Peter Thiel to Donald Trump and his Maga candidates, and due to the fact that its powerful means – which according to some allow “to see too much” – would be used to violate privacy, for example to trace the movements of undocumented migrants.
“Silicon Valley’s shouting at us for over a decade hasn’t made the world less dangerous – is the reply of Karp, who has funded many candidates and dem causes – we have built software that makes America and its allies more strong and we are proud of this”.
Acknowledging that the existence of these powerful new tools opens the door to a series of “questions about the relationship between technology and warfare that we will have to grapple with for the rest of the century”, Ignatius is certain of their value as “deterrence and not only in Ukraine : Given this technological revolution, it will be more difficult for adversaries to attack us, for example, in Taiwan than they imagine. The message for China that emerges from this digital battlefield is: think twice.”
The electronic “kill chain” system was “particularly useful during the liberation of Kherson, Izium, Kharkiv and the Kiev region,” explained Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation. “This is the most technologically advanced warfare in human history, it is unlike anything we have seen in the past,” concluded the minister.