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Seeking Symmetry on the Information Front: Confronting Global Jihad on the Internet


K. A. Taipale


Center for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology Policy


National Strategy Forum Review, Vol. 16, Summer 2007

Abstract:     
Warfare is the use of extraordinary power -- that is, power that seemingly violates the ordinary normative rules governing civil activity -- to compel an adversary to submit to one's political will; and, asymmetric warfare seeks to do so by avoiding an adversary's strengths while applying one's own advantage against the other's weaknesses.

In the face of overwhelming U.S. military and economic power, America's adversaries -- including non-state actors such as al Qa'ida -- are increasingly turning to asymmetric strategies to oppose U.S. interests.

This essay provides a brief overview of the 'information battlefront' in the confrontation with militant Islamic extremism. In particular, this essay outlines how terror networks are increasingly using advanced information technology and the global communications network to expand their capacity and capability to wage a global insurgency against U.S. interests and surveys what counter-strategies might be employed in response.

It is beyond the scope of this essay to address the broader political or policy issues relating more generally to the global "war on terrorism," or to address the legal or ethical implications of employing the counter-strategies discussed below in any specific context. Rather, this essay focuses simply on surveying some of the information operations strategies that might be used to counter certain online activities of insurgents.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 8

Keywords: information warfare, information operations, counterterrorism, use of Internet by terrorists

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Date posted: May 18, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Taipale, K. A., Seeking Symmetry on the Information Front: Confronting Global Jihad on the Internet. National Strategy Forum Review, Vol. 16, Summer 2007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=987040

Contact Information

K. A. Taipale (Contact Author)
Center for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology Policy ( email )
100 Hudson Street
10th Floor E
New York, NY 10013-2882
United States
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