Information Warfare – Arab Media and the Battle for Ideas

First Monday – David Ronfeldt and John Arquilla, authors of Netwar, write:

As the information age deepens, a globe-circling realm of the mind is being created – the ìnoosphereî that Pierre Teilhard de Chardin identified 80 years ago. This will increasingly affect the nature of grand strategy and diplomacy. Traditional realpolitik, which ultimately relies on hard (principally military) power, will give way to the rise of noˆpolitik (or noˆspolitik), which relies on soft (principally ideational) power. This paper reiterates the authorsí views as initially stated in 1999, then adds an update for inclusion in a forthcoming handbook on public diplomacy. One key finding is that non-state actors – unfortunately, especially Al Qaeda and its affiliates – are using the Internet and other new media to practice noˆpolitik more effectively than are state actors, such as the U.S. government. Whose story wins – the essence of noˆpolitik – is at stake in the worldwide war of ideas