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Clausewitz for the 21st Century

25/06/2009

How can technology impact on military affairs?

By drawing the parallel between 19th and 21st  century warfare, Thomas Rid illustrates the consequence of the multimedia age on conflicts.

Because public perception is far more important in irregular warfare than in conventional military conflicts, insurgents and counterinsurgents fight for the opinion of the neutral mass. He underlined the paradox of irregular warfare in the new mulitmedia age : the Web made it easier for extremists to find each other, out-communicate and recruit; but at the same time telecommunication technology bridle insurgency by being less ‘population-centric’. This is the theory of the ‘Long Tail’ that Amm Samm presented to you on this very blog.

 

Dr Rid is Calouste Gulbenkian Fellow at the School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. Previously he worked for the RAND Corporation, the Institut Français des Relations Internationales in Paris, and the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin.

He is the co-author of War 2.0. Irregular Warfare in the Information Age (Praeger 2009) and author of War and Media Operations. The U.S. Military and the Press from Vietnam to Iraq (Routledge 2007).