The Advent Of Netwar

Front Cover
Rand Corporation, 1996 - Communications, Military - 127 pages
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This briefing elucidates a concept-'netwar'-that we mentioned in an earlier article on 'cyberwar.' Whereas the latter term refers primarily to information-based military operations designed to disrupt an adversary, netwar relates to lower-intensity conflict at the societal end of the spectrum. In our view, netwar is likely to be the more prevalent and challenging form of conflict in the emerging information age and merits careful and sustained study. In terms of conduct, netwar refers to conflicts in which a combatant is organized along networked lines or employs networks for operational control and other communications. The organizational forms that netwar actors adopt may resemble 'stars' that have some centralized elements, or 'chains' that are linear, but the major design will tend to be 'all-channel' networks in which each principal node of an organization can communicate and interact with every other node. Further, netwar actors may develop hybrid structures that incorporate elements of some or all of the above designs in varied ways. Strong netwar actors will have not only organizational, but also doctrinal, technological, and social layers that emphasize network designs. Netwar actors may make heavy use of cyberspace, but that is not their defining characteristic-they subsist and operate in areas beyond it.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
CONCEPTUAL OUTLINES
3
A WORLD IN FLUXRIPE FOR NETWAR
17
THE RISE OF NETWORK FORMS OF ORGANIZATION
19
THE EVOLUTION OF SOCIETIES
25
VARIETIES OF NETWAR
47
CHALLENGES FOR US POLICY AND ORGANIZATION
81
IMPLICATIONS FOR US DOCTRINE AND STRATEGY
93
BIBLIOGRAPHY
111
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