The Information Revolution and National Security

  • August 01, 2000
  • Mr Thomas E Copeland
  • Mr Thomas E Copeland

The effects of the information revolution are particularly profound in the realm of national security strategy. They are creating new opportunities for those who master them. The U.S. military, for instance, is exploring ways to seize information superiority during conflicts and thus gain decisive advantages over its opponents. But the information revolution also creates new security threats and vulnerabilities. No nation has made more effective use of the information revolution than the United States, but none is more dependent on information technology. To protect American security, then, military leaders and defense policymakers must understand the information revolution. The essays in this volume are intended to contribute to such an understanding. They grew from a December 1999 conference co-sponsored by the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute and the University of Pittsburgh Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies. The conference brought together some of the foremost members of the academic strategic studies community with representatives of the U.S. Government and U.S. military. As could be expected when examining a topic as complex as the relationship between the information revolution and national security, the presentations and discussions were far-ranging, covering such issues as the global implications of the information revolution, the need for a national information security strategy, and the role of information in U.S. military operations. While many more questions emerged than answers, the conference did suggest some vital tasks that military leaders and defense policymakers must undertake.