We live in a largely protected world, insulated from the reality of war and the struggles of many nations. What we see is through the filter of a news channel or the opinion of a blogger - rarely do we get a truly accomplished veteran sharing their knowledge of the situation and what we can expect.
Clarke writes well and gets to the point. We are at dire threat from a cyber attack at any given time of day or night. This attack might appear to draw on unimaginable sophistry but, since all code is created by humans, the blame will lie at inelegant effort and greedy corporations.
Why would Microsoft allow the Chinese to have the Windows code? So they could sell it there, of course. Ergo, the Chinese government has the infrastructure of more computers in the world than any other platform. But we have AV software, I hear you say. Is it impossible that the attackers could have coded their 'bombs' to be undiscovered? Because it's happened more than once.
The printer in the office, the electricity switch at the wall, the airplane taking you on holiday - all incredibly vulnerable to the most constricting and lifestyle preventing attack that you could conceive.
Afghanistan and Iraq have kept the gung-ho generals in eye watering budgets for years. Naturally they fight the last war in terms of strategies and tactics - these take blood to revise. They are resistant to cyber units who might protect us against severely debilitating attacks.
Why sacrifice your own men and women when you can press a button and activate devastation with little recourse to your nation? Such could be the dilemma the Chinese are struggling with...