The Military Perspective
The module learning objective:
- To examine Information Warfare from the military perspective.
The Military Perspective - War Fighting
in the Information Age
Carl von Clausewitz reasoned that commitment to war merges from
the confluence of three characteristics or tendencies: the people,
the military, and the government. He suggested that when these three
components unify around a common purpose to be achieved by force
of arms, an interactive trinity emerges that produces the national
will to fight.
This suggests the following formulation:
National Will = Will of the People + Will of the Military + Will
of the Government
This proposition has been supported in the emerging information
age. For examples look at Somalia
and Haiti. Information had the power to break the will of the people.
The Military - Planning For Future Conflict
Our military must assume that future conflicts will be viewed real-time
in the homes of every American. War must be quick, decisive, and
limit civilian casualties to few or none.
Furthermore, because of our system, the military and political
leadership cannot lie or deny access to the American press.
Does the Information Age offer any positive advances to the
These include: immediate battlefield awareness, precision weapons,
and most importantly, new non-lethal weaponry. However, we must
understand America's potential adversaries may have the same capabilities.
Therefore, many believe future conflicts will be waged on the information
Why Will the Military Choose Information Warfare?
Consider infrastructure as a target; power plants, communications
facilities, factories, petroleum pipelines, transportation systems
(air, sea, rail). All are either currently or will soon be operated
and managed by computers. Computers that receive critical sensing
and requirement changes via the net. Therefore, by attacking or
taking control of the net an adversary controls the infrastructure.
A nation's air force may take out an air defense system using a
computer virus in lieu of an iron bomb. It's cheaper, quieter, and
safer. And it is psychologically more effective!
A nation's infrastructure can be exploited, disrupted, or destroyed
by infiltrating the computer networks that control such. Many ask
will an army still be required to occupy a nation to impose its
will? In total war, most likely; however, in the emerging age of
economic warfare occupation can be achieved by precipitation a condition
conducive to a leveraged buy-out, i.e., foreign corporations with
the assistance of their government will simply procure critical
portions of an enemy's infrastructure. As a result, ultimate control
can be achieved through the corporate board room.
Remember, the trinity concept offered by Clausewitz: a nation's
will is a combination of the people's, military's, and government's
will. The people will as always desire a non-military solution to
challenges of national interest. The information age offers many
non-military options for exerting national will.
IW offers a new peace time application of warfare. A new type of
infrastructure attack focused against a nation's political, economic,
and social infrastructure.
Economic Warfare - Taking Away a Nation's Ability to Produce and
Trade for Needed Commodities
An old quote:
The greatest happiness is to vanquish your enemies, to chase
them before you rob them of their wealth, to see those dear to
them bathed in tears, to clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters.
Today, translated by America's competitors:
The greatest happiness is to crush your American competitor,
to chase them before you, to rob them of their market share, to
clasp to your income statement their former sales revenues, and
to hear the lamentations of their stockholders. Asian Strategy
The Military Perspectives of Information
You can examine each service's perspective on IW: