The Rise of iWar: Identity, Information, and the Individualization of Modern Warfare
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA STRATEGIC STUDIES INSTITUTE
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During a recent address to the National Defense University on U.S. counterterrorism strategy, President Barack Obama cautioned that we must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us. His comments hinted at the dramatic transformations of the U.S. military and national security apparatus since September 11, 2001 911. Notable among these have been a new operational emphasis on the threats posed by nonstate actors and individual combatants. This trend represents a major shift from the Cold War era paradigm focused primarily on conventional threats from state-based adversaries. This strategic reprioritization has evolved into new military doctrines focused on the task of defeating networks rather than formations and technical innovations designed for identifying, screening, and targeting individual combatants on the battlefield. This operational focus has also made the issue of identity central to U.S. national security strategy whether screening individual threats at the borders, segregating them on the battlefield, or targeting them across the spaces in between. In this monograph, Colonel Glenn Voelz examines this defining feature of recent conflicts, specifically the doctrinal and technical innovations giving rise to this new operational paradigm. He describes the central pillars of individualized warfare, including the rise of identity-based targeting and the key role of information technology in conducting these operations. This work contributes to an important dialogue concerning lessons learned from a decade of global counterterrorism operations and two extended counterinsurgency campaigns. It provides a useful case study on wartime military innovation by considering the policies and strategies that evolved in response to a new and unexpected adversary. He concludes this monograph with an in-depth discussion covering a range of emerging technologies likely to define how this kind of war will be waged in the future.
- Information Science
- Unconventional Warfare