ricardo dominguez on Fri, 27 Feb 1998 08:54:08 +0100 (MET)

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<nettime> infowar thread on www.thing.net


"War in our current era is one of reduced tangibility
and soft power."
--Joseph Nye.

"Centralize strategically, but decentralize tactically."

This is an invitation to join and participate on
the InfoWar thread moderated by Ricardo Dominguez
on the new Thing bbs system at:


starting on March 5, 1998.

The InfoWar thread will consider how soft power has
redefined command, control, intelligence and resistance.

InfoWar tactics are now moving beyond the theoretical questions
about the rise of "network power" and the end of hierarchies.
Instead, Military and Intelligence groups are now experimenting
with pragmatic hybrid structures that can retain control
over networks, while allowing network autonomy to
expand within a specific types of command structures.
In order to contain the rising soft power of small groups
that can organize themselves "into sprawling
networks" that can threaten hard power structures.

Military and Intelligence communities since the late 80's
have mapped 5 distinct possible structures for understanding

1)A Game, chess or Go.
  Go has displaced chess as the dominant tactical game

2)The Wild West.
  Each town makes its own laws and out on the
  range its everyone for themselves and God against all.

3)The Castle/Bunker.
  Enclaves built for security with moats, massive walls,
  drawbridges and loyal Knights who roam the outskirts
  of the fiefdom.

4)A Plant.
  A rhizome made of endless root-structures,with
  poly-spacial connectivity, and a multi-layered linkages
  with non-plant agents.

5)The Hive.
  A bio-diverse system,with the ability to
  rapidly mutate, and capable of swarm like activity.

Each map calls for different types of responses to the
questions of security, aggression, and resistance.
What can we gain from each map as the importance
of InfoWar continues to grow with greater global access.

The thread will also consider the specific case
of the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico. They have
been able to constrain the Mexican government
from quickly eliminating the movement
since 1994--by building a transnational network
of resistance. How were a group of Mayan
people deep in the Lacandona jungle able to
become the first, "post modern warriors?"

And finally, what happens when War Theory
goes beyond InfoWar to overcome the problems
that arise from the "age of networks?"

Suggested reading list -- (not necessary to
have read them to participate):

Copernicus....Forward C4I for the 21st Century

Cyberwar is Coming. Arquilla and Ronfeldt

Electronic Warfare

Guide to Information Warfare

In Athena's Camp (John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt, editors)

Information War and Cyberspace Security by RAND

Information War Cyberwar Netwar by George J. Stein

Information Warfare

What is Information Warfare?


The Zapatistas and the Electronic Fabric of Struggle


Zaptistas in Cyberspace.

Latin America's first post-Communism rebellion

Electronic Civil Disobedience

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