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Strategic Appraisal: The Changing Role of…

Strategic Appraisal: The Changing Role of Information in Warfare

by Zalmay Khalilzad

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0833026631, Paperback)

The ancient Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu once wrote about the "acme of skill" allowing generals to win wars without fighting. Perhaps he was referring to the 21st century: technological advances have made recent conflicts in the Persian Gulf and the Balkans almost bloodless for the United States, if not its enemies. Yet many of the authors contributing chapters to The Changing Role of Information in Warfare are far from sanguine about technology forever insulating Americans from war. Technology, in fact, may become a kind of Achilles heel. "The United States may become increasingly vulnerable to disruption--perhaps catastrophically so--because of its heavy reliance on advanced information systems in both the civilian and military sectors," write editors Zalmay M. Khalilzad and John P. White in their introduction.
Adversaries are likely to rely on modern information operations, such as computer hacking or network attacks--in addition to traditional means, such as communication jamming and physical attacks--as an asymmetric strategy to compensate for their own weaknesses and for conventional U.S. military preeminence. They may value information attacks as a new type of guerilla warfare against U.S. conventional weaponry--but one with a very long reach.
There are other problems, too. In the past, for example, the Pentagon often initiated technological change; in the future, it will struggle to keep up with advances in the private sector. This probing book is written chiefly for policymakers, but its clean prose makes it accessible to anyone interested in the future of war. --John J. Miller

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:19 -0400)

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