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Advances in information technology have led us to rely on easy communication and readily available information — both in our personal lives and in the life of our nation. For the most part, we have rightly welcomed these changes. But information that is readily available is available to friend and foe alike; a system that relies on communication can become useless if its ability to communicate is interfered with or destroyed. Because this reliance is so general, attacks on the information infrastructure can have widespread effects, both for the military and for society. And such attacks can come from a variety of sources, some difficult or impossible to identify. This, the third volume in the Strategic Appraisal series, draws on the expertise of researchers from across RAND to explore the opportunities and vulnerabilities inherent in the increasing reliance on information technology, looking both at its usefulness to the warrior and the need to protect its usefulness for everyone. The Strategic Appraisal series is intended to review, for a broad audience, issues bearing on national security and defense planning.
Table of Contents
Society and the International System
The American Military Enterprise in the Information Age
Right Makes Might: Freedom and Power in the Information Age
Networks, Netwar, and Information-Age Terrorism
Information and War: Is It a Revolution?
U.S. Opportunities and Vulnerabilities
Information and Warfare: New Opportunities for U.S. Military Forces
U.S. Military Opportunities: Information-Warfare Concepts of Operation
The Information Revolution and Psychological Effects
U.S. Strategic Vulnerabilities: Threats Against Society
Implications of Information Vulnerabilities for Military Operations
Issues, Strategies, and Lessons for Decisionmakers
Military Organization in the Information Age: Lessons from the World of Business
Arms Control, Export Regimes, and Multilateral Cooperation
Ethics and Information Warfare
Defense in a Wired World: Protection, Deterrence, and Prevention
Conclusion: the Changing Role of Information in Warfare
"The Changing Role of Information in Warfare is part of RAND's Strategic Appraisal series, and it primarily addresses the effects of information technology on American military planning and operations. The fifteen chapters provide a useful review of the dangers and opportunities that information technology presents to U.S. military forces. While originally intended for the Air force, the work should interest a wider professional audience, especially because it includes a broad spectrum of views, ranging from techno-optimists to info-war pessimists."
- Naval War College Review
"The editors shrewdly chose the title of this work to be information in warfare, not information warfare. This volume in RAND's annual Strategic Appraisal series is one of the better efforts…Francis Fukuyama and Abram Shulsky, for example, offer a trenchant and skeptical analysis of the lessons the military can and should learn from business organizations wrestling with the information revolution…Taken together, the articles remind us—some by insight, others by their very lack of it—of just how hard it is to figure out what the information revolution does to international security."
- Foreign Affairs
"This seminal work of impressive scholarship is especially pertinent considering continued American involvement with armed conflicts around the globe…[The Changing Role of Information in Warfare] focuses on the long-term implications of the information revolution and provides a great deal for serious consideration as we emerge into the next century still trailing unresolved world-wide social, cultural, economic, and political disparities from this one."
- Midwest Book Review
"Brings together work by 20 experts in information technnology and defense policy to tackle issues of the U.S.' vulnerability due to its heavy reliance on advanced information systems. Examines vulnerability to information attacks on vital domestic systems as transportation, communications, finance, and utilities, and shows how the same techniques that can be used to disrupt and manipulate civilian targets can be used to degrade performance of U.S. military forces."
- Reference & Research Book News
"The 15 essays in this collection deal with real and perceived impacts on US national security resulting from continuing changes in the capabilities of advanced information technologies and their use by friendly and hostile forces…This text is highly recommended for the target audience of senior national security decision makers. It is also recommended to information technology professionals interested in the fundamental changes to national defense realities brought about by today's computer and information systems and their ever-more-capable successors. This collection also seems to have some value for military and national policy historians."
- Computing Reviews