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Advent of Netwar by John Arquilla

1996; 118 pp. $15 ($18 postpaid). RAND, 1700 Main Street, PO Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138; 310/451-7002, fax 310/451-6915, order@rand.org.

Networks are the fourth way of organizing society?assert the authors?building on competitive markets, which build on hierarchical institutions, which build on kinship-based tribes.

"The network form is on the rise in a big way, and because of this, societies are entering a new epoch." Netwar may be the consummation of post-modernism.

On the Net anyone, anywhere may be a combatant, voluntarily or involuntarily. Netwar appears inevitable, and Arquilla and Ronfeldt offer remarkable insight into the forms that might develop?"non-state actors" able to challenge states; "swarming" by leaderless "panarchies" with central doctrine and decentralized tactics; irrelevance of national and geographical boundaries; and no end of blurring between civilian and military, legal and illegal, crime and war, and the roles of political, military, police, and intelligence activities.

The antidote to sentimentalized virtual communities. The net may polarize citizenry as everyone surfs to reinforce their own bias. It's in +think-tank RAND style. It sets a worrisome stage.

 

ISBN: 0833024140

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