Last week’s data breach of some 4 million federal employees has presidential candidates champing at the bit. Best quote so far goes to Mike Huckabee, who posted on his Facebook page that “if China attacked a military base, the U.S. would attack back. A cyber-attack against America is no different. We must retaliate and hack China back.” No surprise that Huckabee, an evangelical pastor, employs the “eye-for-an-eye” line of argument here. But what are we supposed to with the Chinese information once we have it? Sell it to advertisers? The U.S. doesn’t do industrial espionage. Is Huckabee suggesting that we start? This election, we need to demand more from our Presidential candidates than the easiest soundbite.
Bremmer is a foreign affairs columnist and editor-at-large at TIME. He is the president of Eurasia Group, a political-risk consultancy, and a Global Research Professor at New York University. His most recent book is Superpower: Three Choices for America’s Role in the World