Authored by: Myriam Dunn Cavelty

The Ashgate Research Companion to Modern Warfare

Print publication date:  February  2010
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754674108
eBook ISBN: 9781315613284
Adobe ISBN: 9781317042495


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Since RAND researchers John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt suggested that ‘Cyberwar is coming!’ in 1993, 1 1

John Arquilla and David F. Ronfeldt, ‘Cyberwar is Coming!’ Comparative Strategy, 12/2 (1993): 141–65.

the jinni has been out of the bottle: Cyberwar has become the most prominent buzzword in the debate surrounding computers, national security and cyberspace. Indeed, if there is any major hacker intrusion nowadays, it is certain to be labelled as an instance of cyberwar by the media and government officials alike. Such usage is far removed from the one intended by Arquilla and Ronfeldt, but such mislabelling is not uncommon; the term ‘cyberwar’ shares this fate with all the other expressions from the information age arsenal, all of which have been created by simply placing prefixes such as ‘cyber-’, ‘information’, ‘e-’, or ‘digital’ before another word. 2 2

Uri Fisher, ‘Information Age State Security: New Threats to Old Boundaries’, Journal for Homeland Security (November 2001).

Under-defined and under-contextualized, these terms have acquired so many meanings and nuances over the years that they have become confusing or have even lost their meaning altogether. 3 3

Geoffrey S. French, ‘Shunning the Frumious Bandersnatch, Current Literature on Information Warfare and Deterrence’, TRC Analysis (The Terrorism Research Center, 2000).

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