Fighting Back: New Media and Military Operations   [open pdf - 199KB]

"These enabling technological capabilities have popularly been tagged 'new media.' Broadly, new media has been described as 'that combustible mix of 24/7 cable news, call-in radio and television programs, Internet bloggers and online websites, cell phones and iPods.'4 But, of course this menu limits the definition to present day capabilities and is quickly outdated given current and expected future technological advances. New media in this context quickly becomes 'old' media, especially in light of projected asymptotic increases in speed and capacity. So, a more timeless definition should consider new media as any capability that empowers a broad range of actors (individuals through nation-states) to create and disseminate near-real time or real time information with the ability to affect a broad (regional or worldwide) audience. If the United States military hopes to fight and win in a future information environment dominated by new media it must fully understand both the opportunities and challenges of that environment. This includes the ability to exploit new media to achieve military objectives and defeat an adversary's skilled use of it within real and perceived bureaucratic and legal constraints. A review of these capabilities and their use reveals a requirement for a significant cultural shift within the military, while recognizing that current planning processes remain valid. It also points to the importance of competing on the information battlespace, not only in counterinsurgency operations, but across the spectrum of conflict."

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Army War College, Center for Strategic Leadership: http://www.csl.army.mil
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