The U.S. government might consider enhancing nuclear weapons with artificial intelligence. What could possibly go wrong?
The year is 2033. Warfare is taking place at the speed of machines, and the decision-making window for launching nuclear weapons is closing fast. To prevent nuclear adversaries from exploiting a time advantage, the U.S. government relies upon an automated nuclear command and control system, designed to rapidly deliver nuclear weapons.
Two Chinese nuclear-armed submarines go missing in U.S. coastal waters in the middle of China’s scheduled war game, putting everyone at the White House on edge. As vice president, Susan Tolley never imagines having to pull the nuclear trigger. That is until the president mysteriously drops dead, and she’s sworn into office as commander-in-chief on the same day.
When her uncle gets fired as the president’s chief of staff, Dr. Morgan Shaw, a nuclear weapons expert at the White House, worries she might be next to go—especially since she’s crossed wires with Susan during her time as VP on a few occasions.
Amidst heightening tensions with China, Morgan discovers some troubling information about the algorithms that operate the Department of Defense’s automated nuclear command and control system. Before Susan and Morgan have time to sort out their differences and exchange vital information, a major crisis breaks out between the United States and China, bringing both countries to the brink of nuclear war.
After the automated command and control system detects an incoming nuclear attack, it automatically gives the launch order. Susan is unable to verify if missiles armed with nuclear weapons are actually heading for targets in the U.S., or if the automated system detected a false alarm.
With only eight minutes and fifty-three seconds to issue the rescind order, Susan must decide whether to trust the machine or to go with her gut instinct.
Will Morgan get to the president in time to share some dark truths about the automated system? If she does, will the president listen to her advice? Will the United States and China end up going to nuclear war?
Rescind Order presents a mind-bending story of U.S. decisionmakers navigating a nuclear crisis during a complex era of autonomous systems, social media communication, and deep fakes. If you enjoy suspenseful technothrillers, then you’ll love the first book in a new series from long-time national security expert, Natasha Bajema.
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