Assume the following:
- This is set in the near future (perhaps ~100 years?) of our Earth, or at least, something very closely resembling our Earth.
- In this future setting, computers and wireless technology are everywhere. Cybernetic augmentations are becoming increasingly affordable and prevalent.
- The capacities of "hacking" are realistic and have realistic limitations, i.e. no Hollywood Hacking.
At some point, the global powers realize that the new age of technology is undeniably permeating the frontier of warfare, and add a fully fledged "hacking" branch to their military forces. Their role is to support both national defense as well as combat efforts of troops abroad, though their main focus is offense due to the assumption that I am taking: from a cybersecurity standpoint, it is always easier to attack than to defend. (is this accurate?)
Essentially, I am hoping to make military hacking something like the new nuclear: something that powerful nations have, a lot of nations want, and right now, they're trying not to point them at each other.
Unfortunately, I know nothing about hacking, and do not understand enough about international social/political affairs. So I would like to know the implications of such a change, or if this change is even realistically plausible.
Here are some specifics that I would like to know:
- What are the political implications? Do superpowers threaten to hack each other, like they threatened to bomb each other back in the old days?
- How would civilian hackers or terrorist hackers come into play against these "government hackers"? Would they be marginalized? How?
- In a civilization where cybernetics are commonplace, how would civilian populations be affected? (As the worldbuilder, I would prefer it if there was a rationale for why they are not affected, such as "downsizing" cybernetic society to be more analog and less hackable, or because such actions would be considered inhumane acts of war. However, I am not sure about the viabilities of these options.)
- And, of course: how would this change the battlefield? Do jets and warships get phased out, as they too are hackable? What about tanks? Do infantry forces now need field hackers in addition to field medics? How might a major war break out in the first place?
- As a key extension to the above question: What happens to nuclear weapons? Again as the worldbuilder, I would prefer that they go away somehow. Is it more realistic that they become obsolete (because, for instance, every nation's hacker forces have everyone's nuclear codes), or should they just be internationally agreed to never be used?
Again, I know next to nothing about this subject, so any answer that contributes to the reality check is much appreciated! Thank you!