The information revolution has been in full swing long enough to permit a broad assessment of its effects on U.S. national security. This burst in human ability, owing to rapid growth in the processing of data and sharing of knowledge, is proving beneficial in three ways. First, it is improving the international security environment by spreading the ideals of freedom, putting oppressive state power on the defensive or out of business, and helping long-poor societies modernize. Second, it its enhancing the power of the United States at the expense of nations opposed to its principles and interests, by increasing the strategic value of free markets, science, and technology. Third, it is altering warfare in a way that will enable the United States to protect its interests and international peace at an acceptable risk, despite the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Originally published in: Naval War College Review, v. LI, no. 4, Autumn 1998, pp. 22-41.

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