Information Technology and Modern Warfare 2013 Update


Since the course that this blog supports started three years ago there have been developments in a number of areas. Debate has continued between the supporters of the Fourth Generation Warfare theory and those of Net Centric Warfare. Drones appear to be attracting more attention  as their numbers increase and attention is also more focused on the threat of cyber terrorism.

The strategy that countries should adopt for their military resources continues to be debated. In the context of the war in Vietnam and more recently in situations of insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan proponents of Fourth Generation Warfare (discussed in previous posts on this topic) continue to argue for less emphasis on the use of information technology in warfare. The following video illustrated the political context of modern warfare, highlighting the visibility that information technology has made possible that initially became apparent in the Vietnam war:

Colonel Thomas Hammes gave evidence to the US Government on his views on how the US should have acted to deal with insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan. These views were consistent with his support for the Fourth Generation Warfare approach:

Meanwhile, President Obama announced his military strategy which contains elements of the 4GW approach and also those of Net Centric Warfare and the exploitation of information technology:

Net Centric Warfare continues to attract support as the approach that modern military forces should adopt:

The controversy over drones appears to have intensified as more are used in military operations and their use in non-military roles increases. Debates over the impact that this will have on society continue. The following video reviews the issues involved:

Cyber terror is also gaining increasing attention, with some people arguing that it is a serious threat and others that it is unlikely to have a significant impact. This video illustrates the case for those that beleive that it should be taken seriously:

Finally, Julian Assange gives his view on the term cyber terrorism:

In 2013 we have seen the debate between 4GW and NCW proponents continue, while the US government have clarified their military strategy. Debate over the use of drones has intensified and concerns over cyber terror have achieved a higher profile.

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