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War 2.0: Irregular Warfare in the Information Age
     

War 2.0: Irregular Warfare in the Information Age

by Thomas Rid
 

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War 2.0: Irregular Warfare in the Information Age argues that two intimately connected trends are putting modern armies under huge pressure to adapt: the rise of insurgencies and the rise of the Web. Both in cyberspace and in warfare, the grassroots public has assumed increasing importance in recent years. After the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, Web 2.0 rose

Overview

War 2.0: Irregular Warfare in the Information Age argues that two intimately connected trends are putting modern armies under huge pressure to adapt: the rise of insurgencies and the rise of the Web. Both in cyberspace and in warfare, the grassroots public has assumed increasing importance in recent years. After the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, Web 2.0 rose from the ashes. This newly interactive and participatory form of the Web promotes and enables offline action. Similarly, after Rumsfeld's attempt to transform the US military into a lean, lethal, computerized force crashed in Iraq in 2003, counterinsurgency rose from the ashes. Counterinsurgency is a social form of war—indeed, the U.S. Army calls it armed social work—in which the local matrix population becomes the center of strategic gravity and public opinion at home the critical vulnerability.

War 2.0 traces the contrasting ways in which insurgents and counterinsurgents have adapted the new media platforms to the new forms of irregular conflict. It examines the public affairs policies of the U.S. land forces, the British Army, and the Israeli Defense Force. Then it compares the media-based counterinsurgency methods of these conventional armies to the more successful methods devised by their asymmetric 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 insurrections and put insurgent operations into action. But the same technology that tends to level the operational playing field in irregular warfare also incurs a heavy cost in terms of the popularity of insurgencies.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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

"This book is excellent." - ICSR.com

"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

"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."
- CB3Blog

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

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313364716
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/14/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,288,325
File size:
585 KB

What People are Saying About This

Christopher CokerProfessor of International RelationSLondon School of Economics

"Thematically rich and masterfully constructed, War 2.0 evokes a world in which everything including war now has a 'digital touch'. In this book the authors show how our wired-up world has changed the operational environment, making both war and insurgency more complex, decentralised and bottom-up. Few other books have grasped so effectively the seismic change in the character of war. This is Clausewitz rebooted for the 21st century."

Noah ShachtmanWired magazineEditor of Danger Room
"High-tech revolutions are rocking the military and the media, top-pling hierarchies, and upending traditional players. Until now, no one has shown how these twin upheavals are linked—and feeding one another. War 2.0 reveals how the old ways of war and commu-nications are coming apart, and what the chaotic, self-organizing, networked future is likely to be."
Christopher Coker Professor of International RelationS London School of Economics

"Thematically rich and masterfully constructed, War 2.0 evokes a world in which everything including war now has a 'digital touch'. In this book the authors show how our wired-up world has changed the operational environment, making both war and insurgency more complex, decentralised and bottom-up. Few other books have grasped so effectively the seismic change in the character of war. This is Clausewitz rebooted for the 21st century."

Christopher CokerProfessor of International RelationsLondon School of Economics
"Thematically rich and masterfully constructed, War 2.0 evokes a world in which everything including war now has a 'digital touch'. In this book the authors show how our wired-up world has changed the operational environment, making both war and insurgency more complex, decentralised and bottom-up. Few other books have grasped so effectively the seismic change in the character of war. This is Clausewitz rebooted for the 21st century."
Dominique Moïsi a founder of Ifri inaugural Pierre Keller Visiting Professor at Harvard Univers
"A highly original and important book. Rid and Hecker aptly com-pare Hezbollah, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda—and juxtapose the mili-tants' PR with that of the world's most powerful armies. The find-ings of War 2.0 are pioneering."
T.X. HammeS Colonel (Ret)

"Since war flows from society as a whole, it is constantly evolving. Winning wars requires understanding the changing environment and adapting faster than the enemy. Rid and Hecker provide powerful case studies on how our primary enemies have understood and adapted to the changes Web 2.0 is driving. It would behoove professionals to read and understand this remarkable book."

T.X. HammeSColonel (Ret)

"Since war flows from society as a whole, it is constantly evolving. Winning wars requires understanding the changing environment and adapting faster than the enemy. Rid and Hecker provide powerful case studies on how our primary enemies have understood and adapted to the changes Web 2.0 is driving. It would behoove professionals to read and understand this remarkable book."

Gérard Chaliand author of History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to Al Qaida
"In irregular warfare public opinion has become the center of gravity. This sharp and challenging study explores how the new media enforce this old truth more than ever before."
T.X. HammesColonel (Ret)
"Since war flows from society as a whole, it is constantly evolving. Winning wars requires understanding the changing environment and adapting faster than the enemy. Rid and Hecker provide powerful case studies on how our primary enemies have understood and adapted to the changes Web 2.0 is driving. It would behoove professionals to read and understand this remarkable book."

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. Previously he worked at the RAND Corporation, the Institut français des relations internationales, and the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik. He is author of War and Media Operations and co-editor of Understanding Counterinsurgency Warfare.

Marc Hecker is a research fellow at the Security Studies Center of the Institut français des relations internationales in Paris. Among his publications are La presse française et la premiëre guerre du Golfe, La défense des intérêts de l'Etat d'Israël en France, and Une vie d'Afghanistan.

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