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The Mesh and the Net
SciAm's December article on future high-tech carnage cites:
"The Mesh and the Net: Speculations on Armed Conflict in a
Time of Free Silicon," by Martin C. Libicki, March, 1994.
Available on the Web at:
NDU is the National Defense University, Libicki's teat.
He is quoted: "We're getting a lot of clever ideas about how
to fight a Gulf War more efficiently, but we rarely get
anything about how to fight a Vietnam more efficiently."
Here are excerpts from his preface:
Mesh -- the term applied to military applications --
points to the holes; as information technology places a
atop the battlefield, more objects are caught in it. Net --
applied to civilian applications -- points to the substance
system; the connectivity of people and their machines
patterns of social relationships and new venues for
that which is to become free, stands for both semiconductor
computation) and optical fibers (for communications).
Argument: The relationship of the once and future revolution
information technology to warfare is analyzed in several
* Chapter One outlines the basis for this revolution and
why its most natural expression is the dispersion rather
accumulation of information power.
* Chapter Two examines its expression on the battlefield
aspects: Pop-up warfare, the rise of the Mesh, and the
of Fire-ant warfare.
* Chapter Three examines whether the revolution on the
translates into a commensurate revolution in military
* Chapter Four discusses implications for acquisition,
* Chapter Five extends the analysis to the case of
* Chapter Six attempts a broader assessment of how
applications of information technology, the Net, may
* Chapter Seven contrasts the Mesh, and the Net.
* The Epilogue considers certain reasons why information
may not translate into the victory of the Small and the
the Few and the Large.
<www.ndu.edu/ndu/inss> and links offer an ape-lab of global