Teresa Crawford on Fri, 14 May 1999 19:35:08 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> Netwar/Human Rights/US Interests and Law

A study prepared for the US military on what they call "Netwar" concludes
that they must center attention on the activities of NGOs using Internet

The study was sponsored by the US Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence
and was produced in the RAND Arroyo Center's Strategy and Doctrine Program.
The Arroyo Center is a federally funded research and development center
sponsored by the United States Army.  The analysis is focuses on the
international solidarity developed by NGOs in support of the Zapatistas, it
particularly targets the APC as a network for NGOs. The following quote
indicates the thrust of the study:

<The most important remains the Association for Progressive Communications
(APC), which, as discussed earlier, is a worldwide partnership of member
networks (like Peacenet and Conflictnet) that provides low-cost computer
communications      services and information-sharing tools to individuals
and NGOs working on social           issues.>

Their study poses interesting definitional questions and answers about
cyberwar and a social netwar attempting to clearly describe who the
potential actors are and how they can impact very broad US interests.  From
an American perspective, the policy/law implications of the recommendations
in the conclusion and the applicability of these recommendations to US
government actions in other countries were particularly disturbing
especially in light of the current protests against the shutting down of
the Loral Orion satellite link in Serbia and Montenegro.  For some
activists in the West there is a "it could never happen here" mentality.
Is access to information a human right?  And if so what length must
governments go to protect that right?  In another email, John Perry of the
Electronic Frontier Foundation said:  

<Even if the Serbians are using the Internet for the most ghoulish
purposes, we believe in open channels of communication, however they are
being used, by whomever, and to whatever ends.   http://www.eff.org/~barlow>



The full report (in Adobe Acrobat format) is at:

http://www.rand.org/pu blications/MR/MR994/MR994.pdf/


DOCNO: MR-994-A PAGES: xiii, 168, DATE: 1998 
TITLE: The Zapatista Social Netwar in Mexico. 
AUTH: D.F. Ronfeldt, J. Arquilla, G.E. Fuller, M. Fuller 
COST: 15.00 ISBN: 0833026569 
KEYS: National security Mexico; Internet (Computer network)--Social aspects
Mexico; Information networks--Social aspects Mexico; Public opinion Mexico;
Chiapas (Mexico)--History--Peasant uprising, 1994---Propaganda; Ejercito
Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional (Mexico)--Public opinion; Mexico--Military
ABST: The information revolution is leading to the rise of network forms of
organization in which small, previously isolated groups can communicate,
link up, and conduct coordinated joint actions as never before. This in
turn is leading to a new mode of conflict--"netwar"--in which the
protagonists depend on using network forms of organization, doctrine,
strategy, and technology. Many actors across the spectrum of conflict--from
terrorists, guerrillas, and criminals who pose security threats, to social
activists who may not--are developing netwar designs and capabilities. The
Zapatista movement in Mexico is a seminal case of this. In January 1994, a
guerrilla-like insurgency in Chiapas by the Zapatista National Liberation
Army (EZLN), and the Mexican government's response to it, aroused a
multitude of civil-society activists associated with human-rights,
indigenous-rights, and other types of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
to "swarm"--electronically as well as physically--from the United States,
Canada, and elsewhere into Mexico City and Chiapas. There, they linked with
Mexican NGOs to voice solidarity with the EZLN's demands and to press for
nonviolent change. Thus, what began as a violent insurgency in an isolated
region mutated into a nonviolent though no less disruptive "social netwar"
that engaged the attention of activists from far and wide and had
nationwide and foreign repercussions for Mexico. This study examines the
rise of this social netwar, the information-age behaviors that characterize
it (e.g., extensive use of the Internet), its effects on the Mexican
military, its implications for Mexico's stability, and its implications for
the future occurrence of social netwars elsewhere around the world. 

Chapter One: An Insurgency Becomes a Social Netwar 
Chapter Two: The Advent of Netwar: Analytic Background 
Definition of Netwar
Networks vs. Hierarchies: Challenges for Counternetwar
Varieties of Netwar
Mexico--Scene of Multiple Netwars
Chapter Three: Emergence of the Zapatista Netwar 
Three Layers to the Zapatista Movement
The Indigenas:Growing Desperation and Politicization
The EZLN: Mixture of Vertical and Horizontal Designs
Activist NGOs: Global, Regional, and Local Networks
On the Eve of War
Chapter Four: Mobilization for Conflict
The EZLN in Combat--A "War of the Flea"
Transnational NGO Mobilization--A "War of the Swarm"
Chapter Five: Transformation of the Conflict 
Zapatista Emphasis on "Information Operations"
Attenuation and Restructuring of Combat Operations
Government Efforts at Counternetwar 
Chapter Six: The Netwar Simmers--and Diffuses 
Situational Standoff
>From the EZLN to the EPR--Diffusion In Mexico
The Zapatista Netwar Goes Global
Assessments of the EZLN/Zapatista Movement
Actors to Watch: The Military and the NGOs
Basic Implication for U.S. Military Policy: "Guarded Openness" 
Chapter Seven: Beyond Mexico
Toward a Demography of Social Netwar
Evolution of Organization, Doctrine, and Strategy
Favorable Conditions for Social Netwar
Challenges to Authoritarian Systems 
Implications for the U.S. Army and Military Strategy
Concluding Comment
A. Chronology of the Zapatista Social Netwar (1994-1996)
B. Rethinking Mexico's Stability and Transformability 

contact information:
Geneva, Switzerland
+41 22 798 6388 phone


#  distributed via nettime-l : no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a closed moderated mailinglist for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo@desk.nl and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  URL: http://www.desk.nl/~nettime/  contact: nettime-owner@desk.nl