Top Pentagon Official Resigns, Says China Winning the Cyber War

Top Pentagon Official Resigns, Says China Winning the Cyber War

( – Recently, the Pentagon’s first-ever chief of software quit in disgust, and now, he’s delivered a terrifying warning: If the US doesn’t start to take cyber warfare seriously, we’re on course to lose to China.

Nicholas Chaillan became chief software officer for the United States Air Force and Space Force three years ago – the first time that position has existed in the US Armed Forces. Then, last week, he quit. Now, he says the way the Pentagon is handling cyber warfare is putting our futures at risk.

On October 11, Chaillan told the Financial Times he stepped down to protest the US military’s frustratingly slow progress in cyber warfare and because he can’t bear to watch as China pulls ahead. Unfortunately, he says that’s exactly what will happen if the Pentagon doesn’t change its approach.

Chaillan says cyber systems are weapons, and the US needs to start treating and protecting them that way. Yet, in some government departments, defenses are at “kindergarten level.” If we don’t change that, he warns, “we have no fighting chance to win against China in 15 years.”

There’s a new electronic arms race underway, and right now, China is positioning itself to pull ahead. Chaillan says unless we get rid of our old-fashioned, cautious approach to technology: “Either we are smarter and more agile, or we lose. Period.”

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