War 2.0: Irregular Warfare in the Information Age

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After the U.S. military—transformed into a lean, lethal, computerized force—faltered in Iraq after 2003, a robust insurgency arose. Counterinsurgency became a social form of war—indeed, the U.S. Army calls it "armed social work"—in which the local population was the center of gravity and public opinion at home the critical vulnerability.

War 2.0 traces the contrasting ways in which insurgents and counterinsurgents have adapted irregular conflict to novel media platforms. It examines the public affairs policies of the U.S. land forces, the British Army, and the Israel Defense Forces. Then, it compares the media-related counterinsurgency methods of these conventional armies with the methods devised by their irregular adversaries, showing how such organizations as al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and Hezbollah use the web, not merely to advertise their political agenda and influence public opinion, but to mobilize a following and put violent ideas into action.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book is excellent."



"This book traces the contrasting ways in which insurgents and counterinsurgents use novel media platforms in irregular conflict. In three case studies based on government and policy reports and interviews, the public affairs policies of US, British, and Israeli conventional forces are examined, and their media-related counterinsurgency methods are compared with the Web-based methods devised by al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and Hezbollah to advertise their political agenda, influence public opinion, and put violent ideas into action. A chronology overviews landmarks in the recent history of telecommunications and irregular warfare. The book is written for a general audience as well as for scholars of modern armed conflict, political advisors, officers, and journalists."


Reference & Research Book News

"Clear and pleasant to read in an elevated American style, War 2.0 will probably establish itself as indispensable not only for all students of the transformation that warfare will continue undergoing in coming years but also to the armies themselves, for whom the adaptation process will be long and arduous."


Défense et Sécurité Internationale

"Timely, evidence-driven, clear and concise, War 2.0 challenges the ideas and protocols of the 20th century, dragging us into the modern reality inhabited by ‘digital natives', and is recommended reading for all, young and old, involved in or studying the conduct of irregular warfare. And along with their doctrinal notes from staff college, public affairs officer should now add one more book to their compulsory reading list."



"This is an interesting and provocative work. . . . This is a well written and researched piece. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate, research, and professional collections."



" . . . worthwhile . . . Rid and Hecker's War 2.0 is clearly a must read. . ."



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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313364709
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/30/2009
  • Series: Praeger Security International Series
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

THOMAS RID is a Research Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations in the School for Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He was a Research Fellow at the RAND Corporation, the Institut Francais des Relations Internationales, and the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik. He organized a conference of the leading exponents of counterinsurgency doctrine from the U.S. Army, the British Army, the Armee de Terre, and the Bundeswehr and directed the foreign policy program of the American Academy in Berlin. He is the author of War and Media Operations and co-editor of Understanding Counterinsurgency Warfare. His articles appear regularly in such periodicals as Policy Review, Military Review, Die Zeit, Neue Zuricher Zeitung, Der Tagesspiegel, and Merkur.

MARC HECKER is a Research Fellow at the Security Studies Center of the Institut Francais des Relations Internationales in Paris. He is the author or co-editor of a presse francaise et la premiere guerre du Golfe, La defense des interets de l'Etat d'Israel en France, and Une vie d'Afghanistan. He is an editor of Politique Etrangere. His articles appear in such periodicals as Politique Etrangere, Le Figaro, Liberation, Etudes, and Ramses.

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