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Home  > Tamilnation Library  > Politics > Strategic Information Warfare: A New Face of War by Roger C. Molander, Andrew S. Riddile, Peter A. Wilson


From the preface:

" This report summarizes research performed by RAND for the Office of the (US) Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence). The objective of this effort was to garner perspectives on a broad range of potential national security issues related to the evolving concept of information warfare, with a particular emphasis on the defensive aspects of what is characterized in the report as "strategic information warfare."

The study was undertaken in recognition that future U.S. national security strategy is likely to be profoundly affected by the ongoing rapid evolution of cyberspace--the global information infrastructure--and in this context by the growing dependence of the U.S. military and other national institutions and infrastructures on potentially vulnerable elements of the U.S. national information infrastructure.

Information warfare (IW) represents a rapidly evolving and, as yet, imprecisely defined field of growing interest for defense planners and policymakers. The source of both the interest and the imprecision in this field is the so-called information revolution--led by the ongoing rapid evolution of cyberspace, microcomputers, and associated information technologies.

The U.S. defense establishment, like U.S. society as a whole, is moving rapidly to take advantage of the new opportunities presented by these changes. At the same time, current and potential U.S. adversaries (and allies) are also looking to exploit the evolving global information infrastructure and associated technologies for military purposes.

The end result and implications of these ongoing changes for international and other forms of conflict are highly uncertain, befitting a subject that is this new and dynamic. Will IW be a new but subordinate facet of warfare in which the United States and its allies readily overcome their own potential cyberspace vulnerabilities and gain and sustain whatever tactical and strategic military advantages that might be available in this arena? Or will the changes in conflict wrought by the ongoing information revolution be so rapid and profound that the net result is a new and grave threat to traditional military operations and U.S. society that fundamentally changes the future character of warfare?

From Reviews:

"Information warfare remains a nebulous subject, but his monograph offers one of the most interesting and revealing ways of thinking about it, at least in an unclassified venue. A short but comprehensive discussion of the central issues in information warfare, particularly defense against attacks on the myriad information systems that keep American society running, is followed by an ingenious 'day after' exercise that illustrates and amplifies these problems. In three parts--'the day of' an information attack, 'the day after,' and finally 'the day before'--participants can work their way through the decisionmaking problems of information warfare. The exercise, which has been tested with many government and private groups, is a brilliant device for exploring a problem bound to become more salient." (Foreign Affairs)

"An excellent overview of the subject. . . . Highly recommended for a variety of subject areas, particularly political science and computer science." (Academic Library Book Review)

"The great value of such exercises lies in raising the consciousness of decision-makers about problems likely to emerge, but which have not yet received their devoted attention." (Comparative Strategy)

"This book terrified me . . . because the authors are right. Strategic information warfare is possible and probable. I applaud that this research was done. I am thrilled that this is an unclassified, easily obtained book rather than something that remains within the closed networks of the military-industrial vaults." (Computing Reviews)

"Strategic Information Warfare illuminates a challenging and often obscure method for examining policy options. Any student of government or industrial decision making would be well advised to buy this book. Grade: 92%" (Technology and Society)


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