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How Trump Can Destroy Kim Jong Un’s Nukes Without Blowing Up the World

A combination of portraits of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and of U.S. President Donald Trump.

This is the argument in a new book, Striking Power: How Cyber, Robots, and Space Weapons Change the Rules of War, by international law professors John Yoo (University of California, Berkeley) and Jeremy Rabkin (George Mason University). Their book connects war and nuclear weapons to a profound shift in the way the world works. We’re moving away from an era of mass production, mass media and mass markets, and into an era when products, media, markets and everything else are hyper-targeted and highly personalized. I’ve been researching that broad shift for a book that comes out in March, and it makes sense that it applies to war too.

Economics of the 20th century were all about the masses. To be successful, a factory would strive to make the same product for the most people. TV networks sought to air least-common-denominator shows that would appeal to the broadest audience. In such a milieu, bigger usually won. Economies of scale ruled, “so we saw huge armies with identical mass-produced weapons that were cheap to make and caused a lot of indiscriminate destruction,” Yoo tells me.

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