The purpose of this book is to explore key emergent information technology developments for managing conflict, waging war and creating dysfunction within modern societies which are dependent on continuous information flows. It considers how the challenge is being addressed and assesses the longer-term implications and risks of these new approaches to conflict management and control. It is essentially composed of four substantive parts. Part I seeks to define the issues. Part II explores the implications of the problem and Part III presents some different (non-western) country perspectives. Finally, Part IV questions what is being done and must be done if we are to avoid being overwhelmed by competing and contradictory paradigms. The conclusion takes a tentative glimpse at innovations on the horizon and the social and political implications and ramifications.
Cyberwar, Information Warfare (IW), Netwar and the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) are terms that have been widely used by military observers for over a decade. In the early 1990s, in the immediate past-Cold War World, researchers such as Ronfeldt and Arquilla. 1who worked for the Rand Corporation, gave an account of what they saw as a new ‘high-tech’ model of warfare. The theory created by them had already gained credibility within the US military establishment by 1995, 2 though recent writers have claimed that the theoretical arguments are flawed and incomplete. 3 Much of the early discussion was either devoted to the threat to society posed by freelance hackers, or investigated broader theoretical possibilities. Similarly, the debate on the RMA was essentially a speculation in futuristic possibilities which did not yet have a public budget line attached. All that has now changed.