The information revolution is leading to the rise of network forms of organization, with unusual implications for how societies are organized and conflicts are conducted. “Netwar” is an emerging consequence. The term refers to societal conflict and crime, short of war, in which the antagonists are organized more as sprawling “leaderless” networks than as tight-knit hierarchies. Many terrorists, criminals, fundamentalists, and ethno-nationalists are developing netwar capabilities. A new generation of revolutionaries and militant radicals is also emerging, with new doctrines, strategies, and technologies that support their reliance on network forms of organization. Netwar may be the dominant mode of societal conflict in the 21st century. These conclusions are implied by the evolution of societies, according to a framework presented in this RAND study. The emergence of netwar raises the need to rethink strategy and doctrine to conduct counternetwar. Traditional notions of war and low-intensity conflict as a sequential process based on massing, maneuvering, and fighting will likely prove inadequate to cope with nonlinear, swarm-like, information-age conflicts in which societal and military elements are closely intermingled.
Recent years have seen a rapid development of a relatively new trend of battle: cyber-warfare. Used in targeting various official government websites, home pages of financial institutions and famous and influential internet portals, cyber-attacks have the ability to paralyze the work of banks, news broadcasts and even hurt the reputation of a country (like in the case of Georgia), with false and distorted information and data being the main casualties. This book gives an insight on the highly interesting topic of cyber-warfare, the latest form of battle.
The end of the Cold War, the Revolution in Military Affairs, 9/11 and the War on Terror have radically altered the nature of conflict and security in the twenty-first century. This book considers how developments in technology could and are effecting the prosecution of war and what the changing nature of warfare means for human rights and civil society.
Netwar-like cyberwar-describes a new spectrum of conflict that is emerging in the wake of the information revolution. Netwar includes conflicts waged, on the one hand, by terrorists, criminals, gangs, and ethnic extremists; and by civil-society activists (such as cyber activists or WTO protestors) on the other. What distinguishes netwar is the networked organizational structure of its practitioners-with many groups actually being leaderless-and their quickness in coming together in swarming attacks. To confront this new type of conflict, it is crucial for governments, military, and law enforcement to begin networking themselves.