Accession Number:

ADA509047

Title:

Fighting Back: New Media and Military Operations

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA CENTER FOR STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2008-11-01

Pagination or Media Count:

19.0

Abstract:

The Israeli-Hezbollah War of 2006 provides recent, glaring evidence of how the current information environment has impacted the way warfare is conducted today. Hezbollah masterfully manipulated and controlled that environment to its advantage, using at times staged and altered photographs and videos to garner regional and worldwide support.1 If this doesnt sound new, it shouldnt especially if you are an Israeli. Hamas effectively used the same techniques to turn the Battle of Jenin in April, 2002 into not only a strategic informational victory, but a historical legend of resistance that lives on today in the hearts and minds of Palestinians. The Israelis, having won total tactical victory in Jenin, literally snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by abrogating the information battlespace to Hamas.2 Certainly, United States military leaders can, at a minimum, empathize with the Israelis. Insurgent use of information as an asymmetric strategic means has been extremely effective in the current theaters of Iraq and Afghanistan leading Richard Holbrooke to famously muse How can a man in a cave out-communicate the worlds leading communications society3 Had Holbrooke even superficially studied recent history he could have answered his own question. The monopoly enjoyed by nation-states over information as an element of power was rapidly lost as technology improved and as the means to transmit that information became smaller, faster, cheaper and, consequently, ubiquitous. And the outlook in that regard certainly does not seem to favor lumbering bureaucracies any time in the future.

Subject Categories:

  • Information Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE