Seeking Symmetry on the Information Front: Confronting Global Jihad on the Internet
National Strategy Forum Review, Vol. 16, Summer 2007
8 Pages Posted: 18 May 2007
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.
Keywords: information warfare, information operations, counterterrorism, use of Internet by terrorists
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation