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Internet Wars

A couple of days ago the BBC reported that a document called the Information Operations Roadmap (PDF) had been declassified and that it contained some pretty interesting stuff.

The American dominance over the Internet, recently manifested by its unwillingness to hand over some of the critical control to UN-organizations, may have another side to it. Usually, the American model of openness is said to be the main reason for the American reluctance. But, reading the Roadmap, it is not very difficult to find some less appealing ulterior motives.

The document blatantly speaks about the Internet as an enemy weapons system, and that US forces should try to gain and maintain control over the entire electro-magnetic spectrum and that the US must be able to "disrupt or destroy the full spectrum of globally emerging communications systems, sensors, and weapons systems dependent on the electromagnetic spectrum"

This is most definitely the military response of what, a decade ago, as called netwars - a concept, and particular type of information warfare, that the RAND Corporation published a report about, called Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime, and Militancy (PDF available).

Also, another RAND report published in collaboration with the National Defense Research Institute U. S. and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, in 1999 was entitled The Emergence of Noopolitik: Toward an American Information Strategy (PDF available). It analyses the soft power potential of the Internet and how it should be used to "get everybody in the world hooked on the dreams made in Hollywood".

The growth of Noopolitik, they say, is a paradigmatic shift:

While realpolitik tends to empower states, noopolitik will likely empower networks of state and nonstate actors. Realpolitik pits one state against another, but noopolitik encourages states to cooperate in coalitions and other mutual frameworks.

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